Collier County is finalizing plans for its first fallen officer memorial



Fallen Officers, an organization based in Collier County, is raising money to build a memorial for a new fallen officer in Southwest Florida.

The project is expected to pass easily when the trustees hear about it in two weeks.

One of the officers who will be honored at the memorial is the late Sgt. Steven Dodson of Collier County, who was more than a deputy to his loved ones.

Larry Wilcoxson, a friend of Sergeant Dodson, said, “He was a man of integrity. He is a teacher. He is a preacher. He is a comedian. He’s more than a cop. And I really wish there were more law enforcement officers who could be like Steven.”

On Tuesday, the 20-year veteran’s family and friends gathered in Collier County Board rooms to officially name the baseball field at Immokalee Community Park after Dodson.

Dodson’s mother, Phylis Dodson, said, “yes, I miss him so much. But he left a lot behind, and people still call and remind me of the good things he did.”

Collier County plans to honor Dodson and 12 others who died in uniform. The county’s first fallen officer memorial will be built in Sugden Park in East Naples.

“And this is what motivated me to have something here because I can’t necessarily always go to the memorial in Miami,” said Rosemary Zore, founder of the Fallen Officers Foundation.

She knows all about losing a loved one in the line of duty. “My father is Robert Zore. He’s a Miami-Dade police officer, and he was killed in the line of duty when I was seven years old on December 25, 1983. And you know, that’s really… It’s something you have to learn. way of living together. But you know, obviously you never forget.”

Zore hopes that soon, she and others who have lost someone in the line of duty will have a place to reflect and honor their fallen officer.

The Fallen Officers Foundation hopes to break ground on the memorial in May and complete the project by November. Before that can happen, it will first need to be approved by the Collier County trustees.

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