Lakeland police add two officers to Fallen Heroes Memorial

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – Nearly a year after the Lakeland Police Department suffered a pair of tragedies, the names of two officers who died in the line of duty have been added to the department’s fallen officers memorial.

Officer Ken Foley and Officer Paul Dunn died within six weeks of each other from December 2019 – January 2020.

On Dec. 4, longtime patrol officer Ken Foley, 57, died after suffering a medical episode in his cruiser.

“Ken really did strive to leave folks better than they found them: good-natured, smiling, always a positive attitude,” Chief Ruben Garcia said at his funeral.

Less than six weeks later, on the morning of Jan. 9, Officer Paul Dunn, 50, died in a motorcycle crash on his way to training.

Officer Paul Dunn. (Photo: Lakeland Police Department)

“Paul you were as close to an older brother to me as it gets. You will never be replaced,” said his friend Ross Addeo at his funeral.

As Officer Dunn was laid to rest, the COVID-19 pandemic began to take shape, which delayed a memorial dedication in their honor.

The dedication ceremony was held Thursday evening.

“Today is about the families. It’s a time for us to recognize and honor the service that they gave to the Lakeland community,” said Capt. Steven Pacheco, President of the Lakeland Police Foundation.

Officers Dunn and Foley join five others on the Lakeland Police Fallen Heroes Memorial: Patrolman William Barnett, Patrolman Thomas Nicholson, Officer Eugene DeBerry, Officer Carl Cushman and Officer Arnulfo Crispin, who was shot and killed while on duty in 2011.

The newest additions were both proud Lakeland public servants and U.S. Marines.

“Both of these guys were just good guys. You could tell that they carried themselves well which was probably a reflection of their service in the Marine Corps.,” said Capt. Pacheco.

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