As you remember these fallen officers, take comfort in recalling that they dedicated their lives to the same principles of honor, duty and courage that brought you to the badge. Such a life is truly rich. Take strength in knowing that when an officer falls, our resolve to serve those in need is not diminished. Our dedication to protecting those in danger is not weakened. Our commitment to remembering those with whom we shared the badge does not fade.
Godspeed, brothers and sisters. You fought the good fight. Now rest in peace…
Officer Down: John Mecklenburg - [Pasco County, Florida]
By PoliceOne Staff
PASCO COUNTY, Fla. — A Hernando County Sheriff's deputy was killed Sunday in an automobile accident.
Officers from the Brooksville Police Department had started pursuing a vehicle on U.S. Highway 41 before they were joined by deputies. Deputy John Mecklenburg, 35, followed the car into Pasco County when his cruiser left the roadway and struck a tree, according to ODMP.
The cruiser caught fire upon impact, but other officers were able to extinguish the flames. Deputy Mecklenburg was flown to a hospital in Tampa where he succumbed to his injuries.
At a news conference Sunday, Hernando County Sheriff Al Nienhuis said the entire sheriff's office was hurting over Mecklenburg's death.
"Deputies know everyday when they put the uniform on that they may have to give their life in the pursuit of justice," Nienhuis said.
Deputy Mecklenburg was a U.S. Army veteran and had served with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office for two years. He is survived by his wife and two young children.
The driver of the vehicle, Michael James Anthony, 35, of Silver Springs, was arrested by members of the Florida Highway Patrol after being pursued through four counties.
The sheriff's office will take care of the Mecklenburg family in its time of need and help plan funeral arrangements, Nienhuis said.
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The TASER Foundation’s mission is to honor the service and sacrifice of local and federal law enforcement officers lost in the line of duty by providing financial and edcuational support to their families.