Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Assistant Chief Richard Leo Beecher

Punta Gorda Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Tuesday, October 10, 1978

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Assistant Chief Richard Leo Beecher

Thank you for your service and please know that your sacrifice is always remembered by your law enforcement brethren.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

October 10, 2020

Rest in peace Assistant Chief Beecher. Thank you for serving Punta Gorda, Florida residents.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

July 5, 2018

R.I.P. Sir. Thankyou for your service.

Sr Special Agent BNSF Railway Police K9

March 27, 2013

Richard Beecher was hired by the Punta Gorda Police Department in 1969. Thirty-four (34) years ago on October 10th, 1978 at 7:00 a.m. 34-year-old Beecher, who had risen to the rank of Lieutenant (Assistant Chief) within the department, was struck by a car on US 17 at the site of a roadblock erected to apprehend escaped murderer Raleigh Porter. Lieutenant Beecher was struck by 23 year-old Patricia Youngblood of Arcadia when he stepped off of a Semi that had been stopped at the roadblock. He was transported to CRMC (then Medical Center Hospital) and then to Lee Memorial Hospital where he died shortly after 5:00 p.m.
The Beecher Bridge is named in his honor today and his Punta Gorda Police ID number of 101 is retired.

Fellow officer
punta gorda police dept

October 10, 2012

We will never forget... Continue to rest in peace Assistant Chief Beecher.

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

October 10, 2012

Rest in Peace, Assistant Chief Beecher. Your sacrifice is not forgotten.

Officer 11169

February 16, 2012

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

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


October 10, 2011

To Assistant Chief Beecher and and his loved ones:

On this the thirty-first anniversary of your tragic death, please know that your memory is honored and revered today. Rest in Peace, Richard. I am praying for solace for your family today and each day of their journey as survivors.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Richard gave to his community and the citizens of Florida, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on October 10, 1978.

Phyllis Loya


October 10, 2009

"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 16, 2007

On the eve of the anniversary of your death, we remember you and thank you Sir for your service.

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

October 9, 2007

Rest in peace.

Offc. Michael Walker
Tallahassee Police Department

August 29, 2007

My sincerest sympathy to the family and friends of Assistant Chief Richard Beecher as well as to the officers of the Punta Gorda Police Department. Rest in peace Assistant Chief Beecher, your bravery and service are appreciated to this day... you will not be forgotten.

Dispatcher Sue Rusch, CTO
Punta Gorda PD, Punta Gorda FL

March 27, 2007

Saint Michael, heaven's glorious commissioner of police,
who once so neatly and successfully cleared God's premises
of all its undesirables, look with kindly and professional
eyes on your earthly force.
Give us cool heads, stout hearts, and uncanny flair for
investigation and wise judgment.
Make us the terror of burglars, the friend of children and
law-abiding citizens, kind to strangers, polite to bores,
strict with law-breakers and impervious to temptations.
You know, Saint Michael, from your own experiences
with the devil that the police officer's lot on earth is not
always a happy one; but your sense of duty that so
pleased God, your hard knocks that so surprised the
devil, and your angelic self-control give us inspiration.
And when we lay down our night sticks, enroll us in your
heavenly force, where we will be as proud to guard the
throne of God as we have been to guard the city of all
the people.


July 1, 2006

Rest in peace my friend

Christina Recek-Weisser-Dispatch
Punta Gorda Police Department

June 8, 2006

The city remembers your sacrifice and honors your service.

Officer B. Jacobsen
Punta Gorda PD

May 30, 2006

God bless you for your service and sacrifice.

St. Louis City Police

July 11, 2005

Rest in peace, we wont forget you

Sergeant James Kirdy
Punta Gorda Police

August 2, 2004

Rest in peace.

Ofc. Michael Walker
Tallahassee Police Dept.

September 10, 2003

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