- May 19, 2023
Nine law enforcement officers who died in service were remembered at a ceremony held in front of the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office’s Operations Center on May 11.
The Sheriff’s Office honored the officers and their families with a memorial service and candlelight vigil at the Operations Center’s memorial stones.
For each officer, family members or FCSO Honor Guard deputies placed a red rose on a star-shaped flower arrangement.
“Behind every fallen officer, there is a family who also bears the burden of their loss,” Sheriff Rick Staly said.
The ceremony honored the six FCSO officers and three officers from sister agencies:
“These are the heroes that run toward danger, while others run away,” Staly said.
Palm Coast Mayor David Alfin placed a rose on the wreath for his son, F.B.I. Special Agent Daniel Alfin, who died in action alongside his partner two years ago.
“We never know when the devil’s hand of loss and tragedy will grab us by the gut,” Alfin said. “This particular moment — honoring the family that we’ve lost at the new Sheriff’s Operation Center — is really a very special moment.”
Staly, who has served in law enforcement for his entire career, said it is every sheriff’s worst fear to lose an officer. He lost six deputies as an undersheriff in Orange County, he said, and one as Flagler County’s sheriff.
“The reason I take it so personal is that they are serving on behalf of me,” he said. “I take it very personal, and I think that we need to always remember the fallen heroes.”
The new Operations Center has two memorial stones on its front lawn: one commemorating officers that have died in the line of duty, and one commemorating K-9 partners. In 2023, the Sheriff’s Office lost two K-9s — K-9 Keanu and retired K-9 Repo — to illness and old age.
Staly said that as personal as the loss of a deputy is for him, it’s important to remember the family members who were left behind have lost the most.
“We need to do everything we can to support them and know that that service was not in vain,” Staly said.