Jacksonville, FL - The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office has identified the officer who died in a crash off 295 and Alta as 48-year-old Officer Lance Whitaker.
“We will miss your kind heart and contagious smile. You are gone but will not be forgotten,” JSO said in a tweet.
Police say Whitaker was responding to a crash, when he was involved in a single-vehicle crash. Weather is likely a factor, according to Sheriff Mike Williams, but the investigation is still ongoing.
Rest In Peace #JSO Police Officer Lance C. Whitaker #7656. We will miss your kind heart and contagious smile. You are gone but will not be forgotten.— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) May 15, 2018
End of Watch: 05-15-2018 pic.twitter.com/uN18JF1T5l
JSO says Whitaker has been on the force for 17 years, and was working the midnight shift on Jacksonville’s Northside.
“His tragic passing in the line of duty highlights the grave dangers our men and women in blue face every day when they put on their uniforms to keep us safe. Officer Whitaker’s oath was to serve and protect those in his community, and he died in pursuit of that mission,” says a statement from Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams.
A memorial has been set up at the Fallen Officers Memorial in front of the Veterans Memorial Arena in Downtown Jacksonville, for anyone who wants to leave flowers or notes.