Date: May 13, 2002 "For Immediate Release"
To: News Media
From: Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr.
Media Contact:

Carrie Rodgers, (863) 534-6217 or 819-1856 pager

PCSO Fallen Deputies' Names To Be Added To National "Walls Of Remembrance"

Polk County Deputy Sheriffs Gene "Brian" Wilkinson and Larry Rhoden, who were tragically killed in a helicopter crash October 22, 2001, will be honored nationally when their names are added to the Walls of Remembrance this week during National Police Week 2002, May 11 through May 17, 2002, in Washington D.C. Several memorial events are scheduled, and they include: 

The 14th Annual Candlelight Vigil, hosted by the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, starts at 8:00 p.m. on Monday, May 13, 2002, at Judiciary Square, site of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial.  At this ceremony, newly engraved names on the Walls of Remembrance will be read and candles lit to remember all officers who have died in the line of duty. 

The 21st Annual National Peace Officers' Memorial Day Service, hosted by the Grand Lodge Fraternal Order of Police (FOP) Auxiliary, will be held at 12:00 noon on Wednesday, May 15, 2002, on the West Front of the United States Capitol. During this ceremony, the names of the officers who lost their lives during the previous calendar year are read off of the "Roll Call of Heroes" while primary survivors and/or immediate family members of those officers place carnations in a large wreath and receive a Supreme Sacrifice Medal of Honor on behalf of the officers.

Mrs. Tamara Rhoden and Mrs. Amy Wilkinson, the wives of Deputies Rhoden and Wilkinson, and their children will be accompanied to Washington D.C. to take part in these ceremonies and other scheduled events by Sheriff Lawrence W. Crow, Jr. and Mrs. Crow, and designated Polk County Sheriff's deputy escorts. The Wilkinson and Rhoden families' trips to the capital will be sponsored by Polk County FOP Lodge 46 and District Three (Tampa Bay area) FOP Lodges.

Wilkinson and Rhoden were also honored at two prior ceremonies this month when their names were engraved on the state memorial at the Capitol Building in Tallahassee during the Twentieth Annual Police Memorial Service, and locally at the Fifteenth Annual Peace Officer Memorial Service in Bicentennial Park in Lakeland.

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Distribution: Undersheriff, Division Commanders, Communications, News Media

A text only version of this release is also available.

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