Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer Thomas Joseph Szafranski

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Sunday, May 24, 1981

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Reflections for Officer Thomas Joseph Szafranski

Miss you big brother!
My life is shaped around your values.

Bob Szafranski
Little Brither

July 23, 2018

Rest in peace Officer Szafranski. Your humility and courage won't be forgotten. May 24, 1981 was my mother's birthday. If she were here today she would be 94 years old. It's always tragic when our heroes and heroines do not get to grow older.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 17, 2017

The Sheriffs of Florida and their deputies will never forget the sacrifice you and your family made to uphold our laws and protect society.

Your name has been inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs and the National Law Enforcement Memorial and in our hearts. May you forever rest in peace.

A scripture inscribed on the Florida Sheriffs Law Enforcement Memorial:

"Blessed are the peacemakers,
for they shall be called the children
of God." Matthew 5:9

Executive Director Steve Casey
Florida Sheriffs Association

August 20, 2016

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
God Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito
Texas

May 25, 2015

In the last few days, I've been thinking of this incident more and more often. Tom left a lasting impression on me as a young police officer's wife (Jim McMillan) and oftentimes helped ease my worries with his humor, referring to Jim and himself as "Batman and Robin". The guys in this squad were one in a million and a true band of brothers. He will never be forgotten in the hearts of many. His family became "family" to us all. Thank you to all who risk their lives selflessly each day to make our world safer.

Amy McMillan Nottingham
Friend

May 21, 2015

Tom was one of the coaches of my flag football team at Century 21 Apts. and he was just a nice, wonderful guy. I went out with him a couple of times, and he loved scrambled egg sandwiches and drove a really cool car. One of our dates was to see the Blue Brothers, I asked him being a police officer what he thinks when a movie shows the characters albeit for comedic purposes our shown flouting the law and outsmarting them. He said he took it for what it was worth and thus, not seriously. He was a good person who I will never forget and had he had more time would have made a difference in the world.

Luisa Lawrence
A friend and admirer

May 17, 2015

We will never forget the heroes who gave their all for us, and you sir are a hero. Continue to rest in peace Officer.

Deb Azure
Mother of Deputy Renee Danell Azure
EOW 08/06/02
Union County SO, Lake Butler, FL

May 24, 2012

Rest in Peace, Officer Szafranski. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 14, 2012

This Tuesday, May 24, 2011, will be the 30th anniversary of my friend Tom's death(May 24, 1981). I have never visited this memorial site before. How appropriate that I find it today, May 22, 2011 while researching Tom on the internet.

On behalf of Tom's family and all his friends and fellow officers, thank you to all who have taken the time to leave reflections and thank you to the staff and supporters of the "Officer Down" Memorial Page. The handsome picture of Tom warms my heart and fills me with loving memories of a true friend and dedicated law enforcement officer. I told Tom I loved him about a year before he was killed. How thankful I am for having said that. He has and will always live in a big chunk of my heart. God bless all of the families and friends of those officers who died in the pursuit of their passion.

Lt. John Boney, Jr. Retired
Jacksonville Sheriff's Office

May 22, 2011

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 29th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered. Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

May 24, 2010

The Badge"
He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.
He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.
Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.
He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.
His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.
He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.
And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.
But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.
Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.
Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.
So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.
In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.
Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.
Written By:
David L. Bell
Sergeant
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

October 3, 2007

This was a truly wonderful officer and person. I knew him through the Police Explorers and through relatives working with the department.

When I got the word of this incident my heart broke in two. I never will forget Tom ... and unfortunately I'll never forget the way his life was cut short so violently.

Tom - you were one in a million!!! There are many of us who will always remember you with admiration!

B Brown

August 6, 2005

I remember when this happened and think of this officer often. It happened about a week before I joined the Jacksonville Police Explorers. The officer that sponsored me was with Officer Szanfranski just minutes before the incident occured. Thank you for your ultimate sacrifice to ensure our safety. May you live forever in our hearts.

Engineer McLarty
Nassau County Fire Rescue

August 3, 2005

When it happened I had only been an officer for less than a year. Perhaps that is why I thought of you often. It went away for a while but the memories returned in 1998. I sometimes think of your kin and how they are getting along now.

Tom, you are not forgotten.

David Haney, Glynn County, Ga. P.D.

TAC Officer David Haney
Glynn County, Ga. P.D.

April 15, 2004

Thank You for your service.

Inv. Michael Walker
Tallahassee Police Department

February 18, 2004

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