Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Officer John Lee Butler, Sr.

Jacksonville Sheriff's Office, Florida

End of Watch Monday, March 10, 1997

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Officer John Lee Butler, Sr.

Officer Butler,
On today, the 25th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Jacksonville.
And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

March 10, 2022

Rest in peace Officer Butler.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 9, 2019

Wow its been 20 yrs..and still the hurt is real. RIP Brother

Trf Ofc. (ret) G V Daunhauer
Jacksonville Sheriff Office

March 10, 2017

Dad, today marks year 20 since we lost you. You were doing what your passion was and what you loved. You saved many lives that day; the life of the woman you shielded with your body, the life of the little girl was being put through sheer hell, the lives of many people out there who went home and loved their father and made things right for the future. You had a way of touching people's lives and leaving a footprint everywhere you went. I talk about you almost daily to the kids and my wonderful husband, Al. We tell stories and laugh. They wish they could have met you; as do I. I know that you are in a better place than any of us, enjoying eternity in peace. I will see you again one day and I hang on to that. This anniversary day that we lost is you so hard, as it is only 4 days after my birthday. I felt you were with me on my birthday. The beautiful flowers that Al got me, are opening up and the smell of the lilies are filing the house. Every time I smell them, I think of you. Dad, I love you and until we meet again....

Jennifer Amoroso, Daughter to John

March 10, 2017

Lee, I miss you very much. I wish you would walk in the door one more time and I could say I love you . RIP love you much bro.

Brother Jim Butler
My self

December 22, 2016

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

Something reminded me of Officer Butler the other day... His smile and always a kind word. Find memories of Officer Butler and his son driving through the Police Credit Union and brightening my day when I didn't think it was possible. You were a great person, dad and officer. John Jr. your dad is still remember to this day.

Brooke Davis
Police Credit Union

July 13, 2015

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 15th 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 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.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Your family is in my heart's embrace. Thanks to your family and friends for sharing their memories and devotion to you through their reflections. I am sure you are proud that your family continued your legacy of protecting and serving.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

March 10, 2012

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

Officer 11169

February 14, 2012



March 10, 2011

To the Butler family may you know that we will never forget your HERO.... Thank you for the sacrifice that your entire family made for the citizens of Florida. God bless you all.

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


March 10, 2011

Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many. My thoughts and prayers are with your loved ones and friends as another year passes. May they know that you will never be forgotten.

James Sheppard
Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06

March 10, 2010

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service


March 13, 2008

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
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

December 13, 2007

Officer Butler, I left a reflection here for you five years ago. I just wanted to thank you again for your service, not only as a police officer, but also for your service as a great person. The reflections about you are very deep and touching. Your memory will remain forever. God bless you and your family on this 10th anniversary of your death.....

DFC. Matt Crisafulli
Worcester County Sheriffs Office, Worcester Co. Md.

March 10, 2007

Thank you for your service, Rest In Peace, "Blessed are the makers of peace, For they shall be called children of God"

Phil Dispatcher
Love County Sheriffs Department

October 14, 2006

Eternal Rest to you and comfort to your family.

March 10, 2006

God rest your soul.

December 29, 2004

I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies.....

Rest in peace, hero.

September 28, 2004

GOD bless you and your wonderful family, sir. Rest in peace until we too can come home to Glory.

Deputy Sheriff
POLK County Sheriff's Office, Florida

March 10, 2004

I can remember the first time that I met you on Oct 23, 1989 when your daughter bought me to your house to meet you and Patsy. I can remember you racing home to get your shotgun because there was a SWAT call. You ran in and out and you were gone in a flash. Since I was a child I always wanted to be a police officer and later on you let me ride with you. As soon as we got into the car we got a stabbing call on Post St. After that night I knew I wanted to be just like you. You were everything I wanted to be in life a great father, husband, friend, and policeman. Wheather you knew it or not you were a role model, friend and father figure to me. There were times you were there for me when no one else was. You let me ride with you all the time and I had so much fun. We would ride around laugh and have a good time. You would always make the mistake of asking me what I wanted to do and I would always say lets go to 400 Krystal St. We would always make an arrest and you would tell me "good job". You taught me to write good reports and how to make good arrests. You taught me what it takes to be a good policeman.

I later got engaged to your daughter and got into the academy. You were there supporting me when everyone else said I was wasting my time. You were right because I did make it and I became an auxilary deputy. (Thank You for believeing in me)

I can remember all the rides in the police car wow were they fun. I can remember you taking the police car because you knew I liked it. I really miss you and wish you were here. I remember the day you were walking out of the house with your gun belt slung over your shoulder and you told me bye. I looked over at you and told you to be careful like I always did. Two hours later Grant was at the door and said that you were at the hospital. I didnt worry because in my mind I was thinking you were at the hospital giving everybody a hard time joking around as usual. I was wrong and you were later taken away from us. Jennifer and I were going to be married in a month and I thought this is not right. No matter what I thought you were gone. I know in my heart you are walking a beat in heaven with Murphy (little head dog) close behind. Im now a full time police officer just like you and I hope that someday I will be has good as you. You will always be my first training officer and I never forget what you taught me. Just like when we first met you were gone in a flash.

You are a hero, a knight in shining armor to your family. You died making a difference in your corner of the world and I will miss you.

Your Son-in-Law


Deputy Sheriff Chuck Harwood
Clay County Sheriffs Office

Everyday I think about my dad, the things that we did and didn't do. The fights, the laughs, the car rides(dear lord), the fishing trips(almost as bad as the car rides). I never appreciated him fully until he was gone. I guess I take many things for granted. Lesson learned. There are so many things that should have been said that never were. Well enough of the self analysis and guilt. Let me share with you a few memories (as painful as they may be). I remember the last night that I ever saw dad(the way that I liked to see him that is), I was going to a night class at FCCJ and stopped at the Lil' Champ at Post and Margaret street. (readers....if ever you need a police officer this is a surefire place to locate one) Anyway, I stopped with hopes that I would find him there having wasted my paycheck already and in need of cash. He wasn't there but another officer was stocking up on some nutritious foods. I asked him if he would call dad on his portable radio so that I could meet with him. He said to meet him at the corner of Lakeshore and Kingsbury. So off I went. I met dad at his desired location where he introduced me to his "rookie". We spoke briefly and I left. The next day Teresa, my ex-wife, needed a ride to the doctor (she was due to deliver my daughter in may)so dad drove her there. He dropped her off at mom's office and said take care of my girls. Just a few hours later I came home from work knowing that there was a video of my daughter's sonogram. We were waiting on dad to make his daily stop at the house when Grant knocked on the door. Officer Grant Davis, one of the officers on dad's squad was sent to give us the news. I answered the door and he asked for mom, as he explained to her what happened I felt my heart in my mouth and the tears in my eyes, just like now. He asked mom to ride with him and told me to drive carefully. That was a great idea but that '68 MUSTANG that dad and I built moved too fast for that. The next few hours were the longest of my life. At the hospital I went into the ER so that I could see him and speak to him. It didn't look good, he was still keeping up the fight. He had no diastolic reading on the monitor but still he wretched and turned. He had to be restrained. He was in pain but obviously determined to fight. You can't keep a Butler down. After trying to repair his heart, hours later, the doctor returned to us and gave us the terrible news. I was devistated, just saying "No" as I fell to the floor. Then came the blur, the next few days that never seemed to end. All of the faces and calls, the plannig and the arrangements, the tears and the pain, then the funeral. I will keep my memories of the funeral to myself. I didn't type this so that I would feel better, or for some kind of closure, and not to speak to dad, I would like you to see dad through my eyes for a moment. John Lee Butler SR, dad, Lee, JL, John, Pops, Grandpa-pa, 6521, flatfoot, Big-John, whatever you called him was/is a warrior. He was a giver, he loved his immediate family and his Police family. He gave his all. He was a good cop, a good father, a wonderful athlete(in his early days), he is a hero. My last recollection of him living he was giving me his last dollar. He was giving his recruit his knowledge. He was giving the city, the state, the country his life. Officer John Lee Butler SR, ID # 6521 died March 10, 1997 leaving us with his memory......we will never forget him. Fallen never forgotten. We love you!

John Lee Butler JR
April, 14 2001

John Lee Butler JR

Uncle Lee,

I remember riding in your slime green 1971 'cuda that I thought was the coolest car ever made. I remember when I was just a kid being the ring bearer for your wedding with patsy when I was what, 4 or so? I remember going to the mall with you and aunt Patsy when I was a child and pouting because you wouldn't get me any chocolate ice cream. I got over it.

I remember the many vacations and camping trips we all went on back in the day, even the long drive to South Carolina in the country squire station wagon when the air conditioner caught on fire. I remember when you became a police officer and I thought that was what I wanted to do someday. I remember the ride alongs, running code at night on the way to a traffic accident way out on Normandy Blvd, the way the blue lights cast a luminous glow on the patrol car in the black night.

I remember getting the call from mom that you had died in the line of duty while trying to help someone to safety just 2 days after I saw you when I was home on leave. I remember asking my commander for permission to leave Ft Bragg 3 days before deploying to Bosnia in order to go back home to say goodbye, hoping he would let me go. I remember the crush of emotion I felt at your funeral, wondering if was soldierly to cry, but not being able to help it anyway.

I remember watching a grateful community honor you for your selfless act of kindness and sacrifice.

I remember you my whole life.

I won't forget.

your nephew,


SSG Ron Webster
212th Military Police Company


I miss you so much. I wish that you could have been here for my wedding to be able to physically walk me down the aisle. I know you were with me though. I felt you in my heart. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't think about you and truely miss you.

I wish that Zach & Viv could have known you. You would have been a wonderful Grandfather! We are always telling them stories and showing them pictures. They will know who their Pop is and that you love them.

I have always been so very proud of you! Even growing up as I watched you progress in your career. I remember when I was in 6th grade and you were going through the academy. I remember every waking moment learning the codes with you. I remember drilling you everytime I could. I remember riding with you in the car listening to the dispatchers and being able to follow the calls as well as you. It made me so very happy to be able to help you. You have made me so proud!

At my wedding, we were going to dance to the song "Butterfly Kisses". Instead, that song was played at your funeral for you. Every bit of that song is you and I. Even the verse about seeing me in the wedding dress. I am so thankful that you were able to see me just one time in my wedding dress. I will never forget it. You said how beautiful I was and began to cry. That will always be our song.

When I went to Washington for the National services and saw your name carved into the blue marbel wall - It was one of the harder things I had seen. It seemed so final and that hit me hard. Then as I walked around the Memorial I found a quote that was carved into the marble. It read, "It is not how these officers died that made them heroes it is how they lived". That verse says it all. You were always and will always be my heroe.

Daddy, I love you and miss you terribly. I know that you are in a better place than we are. You are now home. I feel that you are my guardian angel. So, until we see each other again...I love you.

With all my love,

Your little girl,

Jennifer Carol Butler Harwood

Jennifer Butler Harwood

Big Brother,

You are truly missed. There so many things that you have not been able to be a part of here on earth but I know that you have seen them ( The marriage of your daughter, the births of you grandchildren, you little brother getting
married). I always wanted to grow up and be like you. I even wanted to be a cop but God have other plans. What more for a Irish family-a cop or a priest. You died just like you wanted, helping people. You gave the greatest gift to the city of Jacksonville-your life. What great love has a man than he lay down his life.

See ya again one day,

Your little brother,

Fr. Joe Butler+

Fr. Joe Butler
St. Andrew's Church

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