Bob Votruba visits Naples to bring awareness of fallen officers

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Naples Police Dept. Photo via WINK News.
Naples Police Department. Credit: WINK News.

Carrying signs and an American flag while riding on his motorcycle, Bob Votruba is visiting Naples amid his nationwide tour to bring awareness to officers who lost their lives in the line of duty. So far this year, 109 officers gave the ultimate sacrifice for the communities and the country they serve.

Votruba prays as he bikes in memory of Carl Strickland, a fallen Naples Police Dept. Officer, who died on this day in 1954. Officer Strickland broke up a fight and one of the men retaliated by shooting and killing him. “They found him with his revolver still holstered and flashlight that he had stolen lying next to his body,” Votruba said.

A plaque outside of the NPD memorializes Louie Colin Collins, who lost his life during a training exercise. Votruba wants to remind people about their ultimate sacrifice. “He was on the force 30 days,” Votruba said. “Shot and killed.”

The Officer Down Memorial Page Organization said so far in 2019, 109 officers have lost their lives protecting the communities they serve. The top three causes for death in the line of duty are gunfire, which claimed 37 lives; automobile crashes that have taken 16; and, 12 officers died after getting hit by a vehicle.

Votruba told WINK News he has spoken to many parents, spouses and children of his fallen comrades, including for Strickland, where the gunman has a life sentence in prison. Voturba encourages you to honor the fallen for their service. “They’re like us every one of us has a personal life once they take off the badge,” he said about the families.

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