Fallen Officer Plate

Police And Kids Foundation plate

History of the Fallen Law Enforcement Officer Specialty Plate

Fallen Office Plate Concept

Fallen Office Plate Concept

The story of the Fallen Law Enforcement Officer plate started in 2006 with the tragic and senseless death of K9 Deputy Matthew “Matt” Williams of the Polk County Sheriff’s Office in Florida. After this incident, as part of a school project, Pinellas Park High School Criminal Justice Academy teacher Richard Cross began assigning each of his students the name of a fallen officer somewhere in the United States to research and report on. These projects were taught at the Criminal Justice Academy so the students would always understand the meaning of sacrifice and service to their communities.

In January 2011, the St. Petersburg Police Department lost Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Thomas Baitinger and in February 2011, Officer David Crawford in the line of duty while serving their community. With the loss of these officers, Mr. Cross again went to his freshman students and this time assigned them to create a fallen officer memorial plate as the State of Florida had no such plate. Once these assignments were turned in, the freshman class selected the best plate design to represent how they felt. As a follow-up to the plate assignment, Mr. Cross and his students began researching the process of how a specialty plate is created in Florida. During this process, the Police & Kids Foundation was asked to partner with them and be the charity that oversaw and managed the donations collected from the sale of the plate. For four years Mr. Cross, the Criminal Justice Academy Class of 2014 students, and the Police & Kids Foundation worked tirelessly pursuing the goal of having a fallen officer’s memorial plate for the State of Florida. In 2015 their hard work paid off and the Florida Legislators and Governor Scott passed and signed the “Fallen Law Enforcement Officer” specialty plate into law.

As part of remembering how and why this plate was created, you will see the quote “A Hero Remembered Never Dies” on the bottom of the plate. This was a quote spoken at the funeral of Deputy Williams. The three stars along the left side of the plate represent the three St. Petersburg police officers lost in 2011. We hope that this lasting tribute will reflect the sincere appreciation we have for all fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice in order to keep us safe and free.

If you are interested in supporting our fallen first responders and their families in Florida, please go to your local tag office and order your “Fallen Law Enforcement Officer” specialty plate. Some of the proceeds from the sale of the plate go to the Police and Kids Foundation to allow us to support the families of fallen first responders, and for specialized training or needed equipment used to protect our officers while they do their jobs.

With a grateful heart,
Tracey Schofield, President
Police & Kids Foundation