Friends, family and colleagues of Lakeland Police Officer Arnulfo Crispin marked the one year anniversary of his death today with a ceremony at Oak Hill Cemetery.
The 25-year-old rookie cop died December 19, 2011 after being shot at close range while checking out a group of young men in a Lakeland park.
Crispin's parents, siblings and fellow squad members took part in a memorial ceremony that included laying a wreath at his grave.
"It's still tough," said Officer Carlos Cortes, a close friend and co-worker of Crispin's. "I'm not going to lie. Even a year later."
Lakeland Police Chief Lisa Womack said today's ceremony is important to show Crispin's family the community and the agency will never forget his sacrifice or their's.
"They shared his life with us, and we take that very seriously so we work very hard to make sure they have the support they need," said Womack.
Frankie Crispin, Officer Crispin's brother, says the family is doing well a year later, and the community's support as well as the family's faith helps.
"You know I believe that I will see him another day, and this time it won't be for 25 years. It will be for all eternity, so that has helped out, helped everyone a lot," Crispin said.
Officer Crispin had worked at LPD for just 18 months before his death. Kyle Williams, 20, is now charged with his murder.
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