Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Daniel Matthew Starks

Fort Myers Police Department, Florida

End of Watch Saturday, October 25, 2003

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Daniel Matthew Starks

I still remember that day when we all herd it the call. i was working a detail on the day of the acsident when the dispathcer came over the radio and stated that all units working the detail were to imediatly responed to asist fort myers police department. that night i wil never forget. unforchenitly it all came back to me a few months ago with the passing of sgt Romano. when we got the call that he was involved in a fatal car acsident. in memory of 311 lost but not forgoten.

Explorer. LT. J.Gasaway
Lee County Sheriffs' office

September 16, 2006

Hey buddy, well it felt like the time would never come that the man who took you from all of us would actually pay for what he did. He will get to sit and look at those four walls for a long time and think about his actions that night. I am so glad that it's over and finally we can all feel better knowing that he's not getting out. I love you man and miss you everyday. GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN # 311...

Deputy Travis Daniels
Lee County Sheriff's Office

September 5, 2006

Dan, almost 3 years now and it's over. It's still hard knowing that it will not bring you back, but I know that you are in good hands. He's going to be in prison for a long time. And if he ever gets out I will be waiting for him.

Love you brother and I miss you.

Deputy
LCSO

September 2, 2006

It will soon be 3 years that you were taken away from your loved ones. They think of you every hour of every day. I know your law enforcement career was very brief, "But You Made It." Not many individuals can ever say they were a cop. It comes from the heart as we all know that you don't get rich being a cop. I know you were one of the officers with heart that wanted to help others. I gave over 30 years to law enforcement and two of my three sons followed me in my career and then I lost my youngest son in the line of duty. I know the pain your loved ones feel every day as I walk in their shoes. Especially your Mom. I can relate to a parent. She carried you in her arms when you were young, now she carries you in her heart as I do my son. Our lives continue on but they have been changed forever. I know becoming a police officer was a life long dream of yours and as parents we can't keep our children from reaching for their dreams and having them come true. You are a true hero and will never be forgotten as heroes never die. Keep watch over your loved ones and protect them and also the same for those still out on patrol.

Bob Gordon, father of fallen Chicago Officer
Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gordon, Chicago Gold Star Father

August 28, 2006

God bless you. Rest in peace.

Sergeant
Monroe County Sheriff Department, Sparta WI

August 12, 2006

Dan,I dont know why but it has been so hard not having you around. I know that you are still present but its so hard not to see you and not get to hear your voice. I see you so clearly sometimes that it scares me, but then again I get goosebumps because I can feel your presence and its like you have your hand on my shoulder guiding me to make the right choice and not go down the wrong road. I have to be honest, sometimes it just kills me not to have you here, but I know that God had his reasons for taking you to be with him. I cant believe that its been so long man, I found some old pictures the other day from a couple of our explorer competitions and I couldnt help but smile with a tear in my eye. I have had alot going on in my life lately but then again im sure that you know whats goin on. I need you to help me man and keep your hand on my shoulder to keep guiding me in the right direction. I love you man. I will always remember you.

Deputy Travis Daniels
Lee County Sheriff's Office

August 9, 2006

Precious Daniel -
Life can be so difficult sometimes. Just when you think you have gotten yourself grounded again - ya get thrown another difficult situation. My grandpa died tonight. Well you already know that because I know you showed him the way. When I was saying my goodbyes to him for the last time a couple days ago - I told him to go straight to the light and to look for you. I told him he didn't have to be afraid - that you would show him the way. I also told him to look for your "super charged turbo angel wings". I hope that was okay. The most important thing I told him was to tell you that I love you. He smiled when I said that. I know he heard me even if he wasn't able to talk to me. It was like he completly understood. I know he wont let me down. My grandpa was such a good man. Ya know, I mean you met him. So you better keep a careful eye out for him. I hope you guys can catch up. And I hope he doesn't forget to tell you that I love you. It's hard to loose him - but unfort I've already felt the pain all too well. My grammy told me that he was able to say "Wife, I love you" for the last time the other day. How I would have loved to have gotten to hear you say that to me - even if it was a goodbye. I would have savored the moment forever. I constantly think about what I would have said to you; had I gotten to talk with you one last time that fateful early morning of your death. I guess I wouldn't change what I did say to you that night - "I love you." When you are faced with the moment I guess thats all you really can say.

Well, tell my grandpa I'll take care of Grammy. He doesn't need to worry about her.
I love you my darling. I know you are well - and safe in Heaven (and now with my Grandpa).

Love,
- Jessica

August 2, 2006

dearest daniel

i hope you will forgive me for adding this message to just a cop. i love you so much and will always miss you.

dear just a cop

please call me. i need you - and you need me.

daniels mom

August 2, 2006

Dan, it's been so long but yet it still feels like yesterday, you were here. It's still so hard brother. Just to go to work everyday and to see the people that I see. And deal with the problems that i have to deal with. Somedays i don't know witch way is up or down. And i think to my self that I do this job for what? Everyone that come across hate's me and has no respect for what i do. One day I might be the one that is saving their childs life, and the next day be the one that pulls them over for driving to fast. ya know one minute they love me and the next they hate me. It's so hard. I wish that people could understand what is like to do this job. And you sit there thinking about the thin blue line. We Police Officers have to stick together, because we are the only one's who know what it's like. Sometimes I wonder why I go to work everyday to put my life on the line and for what? But then i think of you, and it reminds me that there are very few people that can do the job that we do. And I know that I am one of those few, that can feel it inside and know that this is what I'm here for. This is what God put me in this world for. And if I have to give me life one day because of this job, I am willing to do it. Ya know that sometimes I wonder why....
Why I wear this Badge and carry this gun, and how can I go day by day seeing the things that I see, and trying so hard not to have bad dreams about the things that I see..... But I guess that, That's part of the job......
till we meet again I love you brother, and you are the only thing that keeps me going..........

just a cop
Lee County Fl.

August 2, 2006

Hey man, I have been thinking about u alot lately and know that u have been there watching over me at night. I had another close call a few nights ago, and I know that I could feel you there with me keeping me calm and making me think and not letting me freeze up. I miss you every day man, especially everytime I get into my car. I can see you sometimes so clearly that I think I can actually talk to you. I miss you so much bro, I love you man. Just watch over me and help me through the hard times. Talk to you later buddy. I keep a license plate on the front of my patrol car that says "GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN # 311" thats for you bud.

Deputy Travis Daniels
Lee County Sheriff's Office

July 26, 2006

hi my love

i almost cried today when i was in camo clothing. i could really see you all around. i miss your sweet smile and laughing eyes. you would really enjoy the stories they tell around here. im hoping to get your pistol from max and learn to shoot myself. we have a range here and they are willing to teach me to shoot. roger - i just love roger - said he would take me to swat pistol training at the new range. i dont want to embarass you in any way. i am so proud to call you my son.
i will love you forever....until we meet again in heaven...good night my angel.

love forever

momma

July 5, 2006

went home tonight and found that I had paused something exactly at 3:11. As it continued flashing at me, I thought of you and Jess. It brought a smile to my face.

June 21, 2006

thank you for protecting me last friday.

you are my angel forever protecting me.

June 15, 2006

daniel,
i just wanted to say that i sure do love your jess and your parents. they are the most awesome, amazing, astounding, incredible, loving, supportive, and just plain fabulous people in the world! :) i don't know what i'd have done without them the last year and a half. thank you so much for arranging for us all to get together. i hope you and cole are maybe having a little birthday party up there. he's 24 today, so have fun until us girls get 'home' :)

much luv from the GA jess

June 4, 2006

dearest daniel

well i have started the job you arranged for me. i hope i can make you proud. everytime i look around i see your smiling face and laughing eyes. im sure you are enjoying my over stimulation at all that is bass pro shop. our store doesnt open until nov. so i will be in ft lauderdale most of the time. im sure it will be hard on daddy and the brothers so keep an eye on them. also if you could watch over me on the trips over an back i would appreciate it. you got me into this thing and i hope i can make you proud.

i love you everyday and miss you always. i cant wait to see you in heaven my precious angel.

love you forever

momma

June 4, 2006

Dear Daniel,
I finally got to meet your sweet momma and daddy in Washington. We all have the same aura of pain, loss, and disbelief that surrounds us but their love and concern definately shines through. I hope as time goes on I will get to know them better and share stories about you and Matt and all the others that are with you in heaven now. We love you all and miss you all so much there are no words that do justice to our feelings now.
Love,
Linda Rittenhouse, Matt's Mom Forever
Matthew Rittenhouse EOW 9/16/04

Linda Rittenhouse

June 3, 2006

My heart goes out to your loved ones and fellow officers who are still in pain from losing you. Rest in peace, Sir. I will meet you in a better place someday.

AZ Narc

June 3, 2006

daniel darling

i love you and miss you as much today as ever

momma

May 25, 2006

Daniel -
I find myself going to your page on this website almost everyday. Sometimes a reflection comes to mind and other times I am just still and read. Your parents are in Washington for another Police Week this year. Hard to believe it is the third one. The first year it was all about you -- and our grieving..and it was so difficult and sad and we had not a clue of what was really going on. Then the second year it turned into still about you, but also about other officers families as well. It was about you, and all the other survivors and thier officers and how everyone's loss is different and at the same time -- the same.
As time passes, the hurt and loss doesn't get any better --but reaching out to people in some way makes me feel more at peace (if that makes any sense). I still find some days where all I want to do is cry, and stay in bed all day. Just stop time and go back to the way things were. But I know you wouldn't want me to do that and you would think I was being silly. I finally understand that you don't want me to be sad (even though sometimes I am), and that you want me to be happy again. I hope that I can feel that again soon -- but it will never be what we had. Never.
I wasn't able to go to Police Week this year. You know the reasons why, and I know you are not upset with me. I have to admit I felt sad when the day came for your parents to go, but I know that you understand. I knew you would take care of them as you always do. You always have understood me and always will even when I don't understand myself sometimes.
It amazes me of the love you send me from Heaven -- I feel it all the time. I know you love me and I love you - always. Things are moving in the right direction..(knock on wood) finally..and I think I have finally understood what I had to go through to get where I am today. I have to continually remind myself when I see people who I feel "have the perfect life" that "the grass is not always greener on the other side."
It feels like an eternity since I have seen you or heard your voice -- but I know you are not far away. I know you are having a wonderful time in Heaven and I can't wait to be there someday with you.
Your parents are honoring you in Washington this weekend, and I will be honoring you in Florida.
I love you my Daniel,
I love you,
Jessica

May 12, 2006

dan the man,
2 and 1/2 years today since you left your precious family and jess. i know they miss you dearly. i am hoping and praying that you continue to send them all love each and every day. daniel, i know this is not really the 'manly' thing to do, but could you please just give cole a big hug for me? it's so hard to not be able to do that. you boys have fun up there.
love,
ga jess :)

April 25, 2006

Happy Easter Daniel!

April 16, 2006

my darling son

happy easter!!! we talked yesterday about the easter grass and how your dad always hated it! how you would have laughed. we all went to crosspoint this morning - i know you would have enjoyed it. the service was wonderful and right up your alley. i do know though that you were there with us. i love you so much and miss you every day. thank you for getting me through each day with the special memories.

you are my precious son and i will love you forever

momma

April 16, 2006

Daniel,

I was working on a scrap book this weekend, and came acrossed several pictures of us from middle school. Remember German Class, and Just Plain Folks! I found all those pictures. It seems like that was a century ago, but it's only been a decade. I do miss you! I think of you often. I remeber coming over to the old house off Marvilla and seeing you work on that car of yours. As sad as this whole situation has been, I couldn't think of a more righteous person to start eternity at such a young age! I haven't seen your brothers, or your mom in ages. I really should go see Ms. Kathy. You are such a good person, Tell my loved ones, I will be as soon as I finish up things down there until then take care of them for me. Especially Dylan.

Miss you
Steph

Stephanie Midkiff
C/O 2000

April 12, 2006

Walking through a store a few days ago, I overheard a voice speaking with the woman that worked behind the counter. The voice was explaining that she had just lost her son this past Decemeber. He was active in the line of duty the day he was killed. He also worked for the department of homeland security. She made a statement that moved me. She said," we aren't over it yet." I turned to her and said,"death isn't something we get over, it's something we get use to."

I approached this woman as she left the store, thinking of you. Thinking of Jessica, and also Kathe. Your story made it easier to wrap my arms around her and tell her it was going to be okay. God had placed this oppurtunity in front of me to help someone because of you.

Thanks

April 7, 2006

Hey buddy, it was yesterday when alot of memories came to me and made it really hard to go through the day. We suffered another loss in the Law Enforcement community on the 19th with the passing of Sgt. Felix Romano from the Sheriff's Office. I had the privalage of having Sgt. Romano as an instructor in the academy and also as a firearms instructor. I was devastated when I heard the news last Saturday night while working, it was very hard to keep a level head after hearing that we had lost another Law Enforcement Officer and that I had lost another friend. I thought about u immediately and thought about all of the good times we shared. Well tell Felix I said hi and I hope he is enjoying his new home up there with u protecting the streets of Heaven. I love ya man.

Deputy Travis Daniels
Lee County Sheriff's Office

March 24, 2006

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