LEE COUNTY, Fla. - Honor guard officers from Cape Coral, Fort Myers, and Lee County were among those paying respects at Monday's funeral for two slain officers in Miami. Now, they're planning to mourn again for the two officers killed in St. Petersburg.
"We've gone to a lot of funerals locally, its way too many," said Corporal P.T. Barnum with Cape Coral Police. Cpl. Barnum has traveled the state to pay respects as a member of the Cape Coral Honor Guard.
"It's a family member, I may not even know them, but it's my brother, it's a family member," Cpl. Barnum said.
Barnum calls it an emotional honor to represent a department.
"There's never a dry eye in the house, including the honor guard people," Cpl. Barnum said. "We try not to show emotion, but it happens."
"It was overwhelming to us to see the vehicles from across the state, the names of the agencies, it definitely touched our hearts here," said Lt. Jim Mulligan with the Fort Myers Police Department.
FMPD received a similar outpouring of support after Officer Andrew Widman was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2008.
"We're the ones who hold each other and console each other," Lt. Mulligan said. "Until you do this, we're the only ones that understand."
But Lt. Mulligan says such scenes are happening too often, with two more officers killed on the same day as the Miami officers' funerals.
"It's a dark day. Another dark day," Lt. Mulligan said. "And probably like most agencies, we're tired of dark days, we'd like to see a little sunshine."
"It just never gets any easier," Cpl. Barnum said. "We expect it, but we hope it'll never happen."
Honor Guard officers hold full-time regular positions in the police department, so not all members can attend every memorial.
Both Cape Coral and Fort Myers Police say they're making arrangements to be in St. Petersburg when the funerals are announced.