Monday, October 8, 2012 a fundraiser held at Feola’s. They will split the profits with the Heroes and Partners for Life.
October 9, 2012
Contact: Board Chairman Rick Kriseman, 727.409.8138
On Saturday, October 13, the Heroes of the St. Pete Police, Inc., will unveil and dedicate the first ever monument to the fifteen St. Petersburg Police officers killed in the line of duty.
The monument, placed in Demens Landing on the scenic shoreline of downtown St. Petersburg, will provide a peaceful setting for residents and visitors to reflect on the lives of the fallen officers and on the value of those who protect us today.
“We needed to honor these officers in a grand, but respectful way. I believe we accomplished that,” said State Representative Rick Kriseman, who co-founded Heroes of the St. Pete Police and currently serves as the Chairman of the organization’s board.
One day prior to the unveiling, on Friday, October 12, from 2:00 PM to 3:00 PM, media personnel are invited to visit the monument site and speak with board members, including the monument’s chief architect.
WHO: Heroes of the St. Pete Police, invited dignitaries and guests, fallen officers’ families, general public.
WHAT: Unveiling and dedication of a memorial to St. Petersburg’s fallen police officers,
WHEN: 5:30 PM, Saturday, October 13, 2012
WHERE: Demens Landing Park, located on the corner of 1st Avenue South and Bayshore Boulevard SE in downtown St. Petersburg, FL.
Formed in 2003, the mission of the Heroes of the St. Pete Police is to honor the St. Petersburg Police officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty to provide financial support to assist officers and their families during a crisis or tragedy. For more information, please visit www.HeroesoftheStPetePolice.org
You are invited.
Lisa Basta organized a fundraiser lunch Friday, January 27, 2012 from 11:30-1p. We enjoyed burgers and proceeds went to Heroes.
We held a fundraiser at Feola’s Italian Restaurant on October 10, 2011. Feola’s offered a special menu and donated the food, so 100% of the proceeds will go to the Heroes. $2,500 was collected from Feola’s fundraiser. Thanks!
Press conference held on August 30, 2011 @ 10am at Demens Landing. Issues discussed: the history of the Heroes, about the families, hand out checks to the families, announcing we expect the monument to be completed Fall of 2012.
Mayor Kriseman and the City Council were present with the police chief, Mike Alstott, and major contributors including Chris Steinocher, Peter Betzer and Joel Giles. Andy Hayes provided easel displays of the monument along with a picture of all the fallen officers with their names and dates. An oversized check was presented to all the families in the amount of $15,446, but each family received an envelope with their individual check.
LARGO — Compared with last year, there were more white tents offering shade from the mid-morning sun. This time, there were so many cars expected, orange traffic cones were used as part of an organized parking plan.
This time, there were two widows present.
This time, there were three young children without a father.
This time, there were a mother and father without a son.
The 24th annual Pinellas County Law Enforcement Memorial Service, held today outside the Pinellas Sheriff’s Office, was bigger this year, more teary-eyed.
That’s because this year, three more names were being added to the small granite monument around which the annual service is held – those of K-9 officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Sgt. Tom Baitinger, killed in a stand-off with a fugitive on Jan. 24; and that of Officer Dave Crawford, who investigators say was fatally shot by a 16-year-old car burglar on Feb. 21.
All three were St. Petersburg police officers.
The last time an officer was killed in the county was in 1993, when Belleair police officer Jeffery Tackett was killed while trying to handcuff a burglary suspect. In St. Petersburg, the respite between casualties goes back even further – to Aug. 18, 1980, when Herb Sullivan was killed during an undercover drug operation.
But even while dignitaries sang the officers’ praises and thanked the law enforcement community in general, some wondered if enough was being done to help people remember the three officers’ sacrifice.
An hour and a half before the memorial service at the sheriff’s office, a smaller, less grandiose ceremony was held farther south, in the breezeway outside the St. Petersburg Police Department.
A black cloth with the ‘thin blue line’ emblazoned across it was lifted to show the three officers’ names were also added to a plaque that typically hangs on the wall in the station’s lobby. The plaque was dwarfed by a statute of a dog behind it, to memorialize city police dogs who have passed away, albeit not in the line of duty.
Afterward, Mayor Bill Foster said he would like to see something more substantial than a plaque – possibly a piece of art – at the entrance of a yet-to-be built police station, which would be built across the street from the current one.
Recently, the city council approved buying property for the station for $1 million, but the construction of the station is expected to cost roughly $50 million, and is years away.
“It would be fitting to have a permanent memorial there at the entrance of the new police station,” Foster said. Police Chief Chuck Harmon also said Wednesday that he believes any new memorial should be integrated into the design of the new police station.
But a non-profit group dubbed “Heroes of the St. Pete Police” is also interested in a more substantial memorial, and the group has already received permission from the city to erect it at Demens Landing Park, which sits across town on the city’s picturesque waterfront.
The group has raised $35,000 and has a goal of $150,000, said Rep. Rick Kriseman D-St. Petersburg, who is active in the group. That would cover the cost of the monument and 10 years of maintenance.
Foster said he hopes that whatever monument “Heroes of the St. Pete Police” comes up with, its “final resting place” would be at the new police station. Perhaps it could be moved to the new police station once the police station is finished, he suggested.
“That would be very difficult,” Kriseman said when told of Foster’s remarks. The group will be conducting a design competition through the city’s public arts commission, he said, and “when artists are doing their design, it’s specifically designed for the site where the art work is going to be going.”
“I know some have talked about putting it at the police station,” Kriseman said. “We thought there was a greater opportunity to see it and appreciate it if it were in a public park.”
Kriseman said Demens Landing Park was selected before news surfaced that a new police station would be built across the street from the current one. There are ideas floating about that would tie the new station in with the memorial at the park, but the specifics have not been flushed out yet.
Still, by all accounts, family and friends of the slain officers were grateful for the ceremonies today .
“It’s huge,” Lorraine Yaslowitz, Jeffrey Yaslowitz’s widow, said afterwards. “It’s really great to see his name memorialized and that he will forever be remembered for what he did.”
ST. PETERSBURG — Standing outside in the breezeway of St. Petersburg Police Department headquarters is a statue dedicated to the memory of the fallen — fallen police dogs, that is.
To remember the fallen officers, one must head across the breezeway to the main entrance. Inside hangs a solemn plaque inscribed with the names of the 15 police officers killed in the line of duty. Three new names will be honored today: Thomas J. Baitinger, David S. Crawford and Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz.
That disparity — a simple plaque for the officers, a statue for their canine partners — will not stand for much longer. Plans are under way to erect a proper monument honoring all of the St. Petersburg officers killed in the line of duty.
“A plaque is not worthy of the sacrifice,” said Mayor Bill Foster. “We can and certainly will do better.”
Those efforts were spurred by the recent deaths of the three officers — the city’s first police casualties in 30 years. But while everyone is determined to honor them, not all agree on how to do it.
So far the only concrete plan comes from the nonprofit Heroes of the St. Pete Police Inc. It’s revived dormant plans to raise $150,000 for a memorial in Demens Landing, a waterfront park that juts into the bay between the Pier and Albert Whitted Airport.
The city donated land to the group for a memorial years ago. But while the organization has raised money to help police families, fundraising for the monument fell by the wayside, said state Rep. Rick Kriseman, D-St. Petersburg, who sits on the board.
That changed when the city lost three officers in 28 days earlier this year. In response, the group recently added board members and started approaching donors. So far, it’s raised $35,000.
“We need to get this memorial built,” Kriseman said. “It’s beyond time to do it.”
The group will work with the public arts commission to solicit bids from artists and help pick the winner. It envisions building a memorial with a sitting area along the water.
“It would be a peaceful, contemplative area,” Kriseman said.
The need for a monument is especially poignant today, as the three recently slain officers are added to the roster of fallen officers honored each year at memorial ceremonies held by the city and county.
The Heroes of the St. Pete Police concept is akin to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office memorial: a monument with the names of the county’s 23 fallen officers surrounded by a garden.
But some in St. Petersburg would like to see a memorial built at police headquarters, such as the tall slab of black granite outside the Tampa Police Department. There are 31 names etched on the monument and a blue LED light was recently added.
Because St. Petersburg is planning to build a new police headquarters, Heroes of the St. Pete Police treasurer Jim Newman said the group may also raise money for a memorial there, too.
But the new facility hasn’t been designed or paid for and could take a decade to build, which is why some would like to see a memorial built much sooner at the current headquarters.
St. Petersburg Detective Mark Marland, president of the Suncoast Police Benevolent Association, said several union members have approached him about doing just that.
But the union would prefer not to take an official role in the St. Petersburg memorial, he said. For now, the union will let the Heroes of the St. Pete Police take the lead.
“I’d really like to see what their game plan is before I would want to jump in and spearhead anything,” Marland said.
The mayor’s preference would be for everyone to concentrate on building a single memorial that can be moved to the new headquarters. Foster said he’d rather not divide resources by building two monuments or rush to erect one at the old building, which will likely be slated for demolition in the coming years.
“Should you really have two?” the mayor said. “I think that in reverence to those who have made the sacrifice you should really have one, and that it be worthy of their sacrifice.”
A new group will help when tragedy strikes and build a monument to 12 fallen officers.
ST. PETERSBURG – City Council member Richard Kriseman and community business leaders have launched an organization to help the families of police officers in times of crisis.
Heroes of St. Petersburg Police has been in the works since 2002, when Kriseman and Judy Woodworth, a vice president at United Healthcare in Tampa, came up with the idea.
The organization will assist officers and their families in times of crisis and build a monument commemorating 12 St. Petersburg police officers killed in the line of duty over the years. The organization also will raise money to buy specialty safety equipment.
Kriseman planned to introduce the organization this spring, but the death of Brooke Ingoldsby, the stepdaughter of a St. Petersburg police officer, prompted him to introduce the organization early.
“This is an opportunity to have a way of contributing and showing support for police,” he said. “It was important to start the foundation now and try to help pay for (Ingoldsby’s) funeral expenses.”
The organization is privately funded and hopes to garner donations from the community.
Kriseman said board members include representatives from Progress Energy, the Buccaneers, the Devil Rays and Bank of America. The mayor and police chief are nonvoting board members.
HOW TO HELP
The organization asks that donations be sent c/o Jim Newman, 100 Second Ave. S, Suite 600, St. Petersburg, FL 33701. Checks should be made payable to Heroes of St. Petersburg Police.