Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Correctional Officer Darla Kay Lathrem

Florida Department of Corrections, Florida

End of Watch Wednesday, June 11, 2003

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Reflections for Correctional Officer Darla Kay Lathrem

I never met you in life but you'r bravery is an inspiration to us all.You'r alway's in our thougt's and prayer's.Rest in peace sister,I'll get to meet you one day.

c/o G.Lee

April 9, 2009


You will NEVER be forgotten. May God Bless you for the service and sacrifice you gave to the citzens of the State of Florida. God Bless You and Your family.
Rest in Peace Sister.

Sgt. Fernald
Tomoka C.I. / FDOC

August 28, 2008

We have not forgotten.

Wendy B., CO
Fla. Dept. of Corrections

June 11, 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 10, 2007

Officer Lathrem,

Although I never met you in life you worked with my father at CCI. And after I got into the Dept he mentioned you to me several times. As did my firearms instructors at the academy, Who told us all about you. I hope you have found peace on the other side.


C/O Tompkins
Florida Dept. of Corrections (UCI)

August 19, 2007


I never got to meet you in life, but I miss you in death. Whenever I walk past your memorial I can't help but feel the void your loss has left, even in those who never had the pleasure to meet you.

I never got to meet you, but I'll never let anyone ever forget you. Rest in peace, sister.

CO J. DuBose
Florida Department of Corrections

July 3, 2007

My thoughts are with your loved ones today on this 4th anniversary of you being called away from duty. I only hope that in the end justice is carried out for those that have caused your loved ones so much pain and suffering. You are a true hero and heroes never die, you will never be forgotten. Continue to keep watch over your loved ones and those still watching out over the Thin Blue Line.

Bob Gordon
Father of Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

June 11, 2007

Sweet sleep be yours.G-d Bless.

June 11, 2007


I miss you so very much. Words will never be able to express the pain of your passing for me. Time has never healed the pain for me. I will always remember you. It was an honor to have gone through the Acadamey/ serve with you in D.O.C. and to have known you. May God Bless your soul.

Police Officer/Micaheljay Ronga
Fort Myers Police Department

April 9, 2007

You are a true hero. We are the few that do a thankless job and that no one realizes the danger of what we do. I personally thank you for the job you do for I know because I am your brother in arms. May you rest in peace. Some give the ultimate sacrifice for the good.

Florida Department of Corrections

November 17, 2006

Although senseless, your death was a wake up call to all women who work in corrections, and to the precautions that we all must take every shift, every day. Rest in Peace, Darla, and I pray that you are watching over us all to ensure that we never have to put another black band around the badge that I know we are both proud to wear. I still remind all the "newbies" that I train of who you are and why we do what we do, and how important our jobs are.

Sgt. J. Shreves
Fl DOC Polk CI

June 5, 2006

I've been keeping up with the trial for the person responsible for your death. It is so sad that some people will never "get it." Your family is strong..they are one's to look up too.

Take Care in Heaven. I bet it's amazing!!

March 4, 2006

Darla -
I was drawn to your page tonight for some reason. I frequently am on the odmp alot looking at different officer's pages, and of my Daniel's. You are buried just a little ways from Daniel at the same cemetary, and whenever I go to check on him I always look your way. I know you are not there - you are in Heaven now, resting with our Lord Jesus Christ and safe in his arms.

I met your sisters at Police Week my first year. They are so great - I am sure they miss you everyday. You seem to have a wonderful family and I am sure you are smiling down on them all the time.

Keep careful watch over them.

Thank you for serving and keeping us safe.

- Jessica
Fiancee of Police Officer Dan Starks
EOW 10-25-03

September 9, 2005


My thoughts are with all who love you, as they remember how their lives were forever changed two years ago. You live on in their memories, in their minds, and in their hearts.

Norie Haas
Mother of Brian Haas
E.O.W. 4/24/2004

Norie Haas

June 11, 2005

Your departure from this earth was senseless; you will never be forgotten. Rest in peace CO Lathrem.

Dispatcher Sue Rusch
Punta Gorda PD, Punta Gorda FL

June 11, 2005

Almost two years Darla, and we all still think about you everyday when we walk by your memorial. You were there to protect us and we will never forget you for that...

Nurses at Charlotte CI

March 24, 2005

I know it's hard to bear the passing of a officer, but all of D.O.C. now has a angel watching over it.

Sgt. T. Davis
Everglades C.I.

February 16, 2005

Deepest sympathy. To all my brothers and sisiters. Remember what we do, and be proud and vigilant. If for nothing else, than to honor the fallen.

"We should not cry for those whom we have lost, yet rejoice that such people have ever lived"

Sgt Amborn
Mn D.O.C.

January 11, 2005

I just want to send my deepest sympathy to the family and friends of officer Lathrem. I know god has a special place for her. I'm very sorry for your lost.

Correctional Officer/ R.Berrocal
Federal Bureau Of Prisons

October 31, 2004

Dear Darla,
I'm so sorry I never had the chance to meet you. I began my tour of duty less then a month after your passing. When I first began working at Charlotte all of my fellow officers were still in shock of what happened, but they made sure that all the new officers were as comfortable as possible, with that I respect each and everyone of them, and I am proud to be a correctional officer. Darla, it has been over a year now since you have been physically gone, but everyday I put on my uniform and report to work I remember why I am who I am, and why I do this stressful job. Charlotte CI is never going to be the same without you, and me not knowing you does not mean a thing because I hear all the wonderful stories about you almost everyday! You put a smile on everyones face STILL, and you inspire me to be a better person like you were, and who you are up in heaven. So Ms. Lathrem I know you are watching over us everyday, and time to time when I pass your memorial out front.... I thank you for doing such a great job! Thank you Darla for inspiring me to become a correctional officer, even more so after you passing.

Fla. Dept. of Corrections-CCI

October 18, 2004

My Sister behind the shield you have ended your tour of duty but will never be forgotten, to my fellow Brothers and Sisters remain vigilant at all times and never for a moment let your guard down!

Cpl Noplis
Federal Reserve Police

September 4, 2004

We are always thinking of you, and think of you often. We will never forget Darla's ultimate sacrifice, and you will be in our prayers.

With Love,
Fiancee of Police Officer Daniel Starks
EOW 10.25.03

June 11, 2004

Rest easy, Sister; you are not forgotten.

Monroe Co. Sheriff Dept. Bloomington, IN

June 11, 2004

On this day we ask the Lord to give you
peace. Be still and know.... God Bless

Jerry and Kathe Starks
Parents of FMPD Officer Daniel Starks

June 11, 2004

In loving memory of Corrections
Officer Darla Lathrem;
We are fondly remembering you
today, the 1st anniversary of your
death. Thank you for your selfless service and sacrifice. It is a
long road to healing that lies ahead, but I know that our Lord and Savior
Jesus Christ will extend His mercy and comfort to all who reach out to Him.
There is none greater than He. We don't get to Heaven based on what we do,
but what He did for us!! AMEN! There is now a huge void that cannot be
filled. God be with all those who mourn and may His promises lift all those
with heavy hearts for many years to come. I found this poem on another's
site and wanted to share it.

We may never understand it,
the risks these brave ones take,
but occasionally we see a bit
of the difference their lives make.
Some do it for the action,
others find it a callin'.
All find the satisfaction,
and few become the fallen.
Being an officer is what she loved,
To her as good as it gets.
Law was what she dreamed of,
She would have no regrets.
And though it saddens all of us
to lose her in this way
She knew how an officer must
Live life to the fullest everyday.

You are in my thoughts. If only I could erase your pain...

Lynn Kole
Bellingham, Washington

June 11, 2004

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