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Law enforcement honors the memory of 12 fallen Clay officers

By Don Coble don@claytodayonline.com
Posted 5/4/23

ORANGE PARK – Law enforcement agencies from Northeast Florida congregated at Moosehaven Tuesday morning for the Clay County Police Memorial Ceremony, and they all had a single purpose – to never …

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Law enforcement honors the memory of 12 fallen Clay officers


Posted

ORANGE PARK – Law enforcement agencies from Northeast Florida congregated at Moosehaven Tuesday morning for the Clay County Police Memorial Ceremony, and they all had a single purpose – to never forget:

Sheriff Josephus Peeler

Sheriff Charles Wilson

Sheriff Theodore Cherry

Sgt. Richard Watkins

Auxiliary Deputy Arthur Caton

Deputy Wilson Walker

Sgt. Kenneth “Eddie” Hayes

Det. David White

Deputy Benjamin “Ben” Zirbel

Sgt. Eric Twisdale

Deputy Clint Seagle

Chief Derek Asdot

The Clay County Sheriff’s Office honored the memories of 11 of its deputies and sheriffs who died in the line of duty, as well as Green Cove Springs Police Chief Asdot during the annual ceremony.

National Police Week was created in 1962. There are more than 23,000 names engraved on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall. The first recorded death of a deputy who died in the line of duty was in 1786.

The first death in Clay County was on May 10, 1894, when Sheriff Peeler was shot while trying to break up an argument between two men at a train station.

“We will not allow the memories of your loved ones to fade,” Sheriff Michelle Cook said.

Charles Shinolser, who formed the Northeast Florida Concerns of Police Survivors after his son was killed in 1988 while riding his motorcycle to work for the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office, was the keynote speaker.

Shinolser said when his son died was “the day that changed my life forever.”

There are 21 counties in Northeast Florida COPS, Shinolser said, and Clay County was the first to join.

In addition to CCSO, Green Cove Springs and Orange Park police departments and representatives from Nassau, Jacksonville and the St. Johns sheriff’s office attended.

The ceremony included the presentation of colors, lowering of the flag to half-staff, roll call of the fallen, a moment of silence announced by county dispatchers to all deputies and officers, a 21-gun salute and the playing of “Taps.”

Northeast florida Concerns of Police Survivors Charles Shinolser. Son, Charles Ray Shinolser died Dec. 14, 1988. Hit by a truck and killed while riding his motorcycle to work. He recorded a song to raise money for a national memorial for officers killed in the line of duty.