A Florida police department is seeking information that will help them identify the person responsible for vandalizing a memorial for one of their officers over the weekend.
Lakeland Police Officer and US Marine Paul Dunn, 50, was killed in a crash while riding his motorcycle to work on January 9, which happens to be National Law Enforcement Appreciation Day.
Dunn’s death is currently under investigation.
The Ledger reports that Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd, whose agency is investigating Dunn’s accident as well as the vandalism, said someone spray-painted “you’re dead” on a T-shirt that had been in place on the concrete median.
“Officer Dunn was a great Lakeland police officer,” Judd said. “He protected people, he saved lives. He served the community and he died right here and the wonderful people in the community set up this awesome memorial for him and someone trashed it, vandalized it. That was a terribly immature act by one individual. But we don’t judge an entire community by the poor actions of a very, very few.”
An elderly couple that volunteers with the Police Citizens Academy restored the memorial. The woman began to cry while discussing the vandalism.
“We’re just doing this for our officer — we worked with him,” the woman who asked not to be named told the Ledger. “I can’t believe someone would do this.”
Anyone with information about the vandalism is being asked to call Crime Stoppers at 800-226-TIPS, the Polk County Sheriff’s Office at 863-298-6200 or the Lakeland Police Department at 863-834-6900.