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Tampa Police To Welcome New Officers, Honor Fallen Hero


Mayor Jane Castor and Chief Lee Bercaw will welcome 17 new officers as the Tampa Police Department holds a swearing-in ceremony on Tuesday, July 9th, 2024, at 2:00 pm in Ballroom D of the Tampa Convention Center. 

This ceremony holds particular significance as it coincides with the 75th anniversary of Tampa Police Officer Morris Lopez's ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty

Officer Lopez, a 25-year-old police officer, was shot and killed while on foot patrol in 1949. In a selfless act of heroism, Officer Lopez pushed a young paperboy, Jesse Roger, out of the path of gunfire, sacrificing himself to save another. 

Morris Lopez III, Officer Lopez's grandson and current Division Chief of Hillsborough County Fire, will be in attendance to witness the next generation of Tampa Police officers take their oath. 

"The bravery of Officer Lopez serves as a reminder of the dedication and sacrifice police officers make every day, and the ultimate sacrifice 32 Tampa Police officers have made in the line of duty,” said Chief Bercaw. “His story is a powerful inspiration for the new officers joining our agency, and a testament to the unwavering commitment the Tampa Police Department has to protecting our community."

This ceremony will serve as a strong reminder of the dedication and courage of Tampa's Police officers, past and present. The Tampa Police Department is honored to welcome the newest members to our department and looks forward to their commitment to serving and protecting all those in the City of Tampa.

Officer Morris Lopez will never be forgotten.

For those who cannot attend in person, the ceremony will be livestreamed at www.facebook.com/TampaPD