On April 23, 1987, Officer Ronald Grogan and Officer Gerald Johnson were responding to a call of a man with a rifle randomly shooting people at two Palm Bay plazas. Tragically, they were both killed, along with four citizens and 14 others were wounded. On the anniversary of this tragic day a wreath is walked from the Police Department to the Officer Memorial at Sacrifice Park to pay our respects and place the wreath in front of the pyramid monument that bears the names of Officers Johnson and Grogan in addition to all officers from Brevard County that were killed in the line of duty. Once the wreath is placed, a prayer and a moment of silence will recognize the officer's sacrifice.
The following officers have made the supreme sacrifice while protecting the citizens of the City of Palm Bay. This page is dedicated to these brave officers and the ultimate sacrifice made by them and their survivors.
Officer Gerald Douglas Johnson
May 5, 1986 - April 23, 1987
Officer Johnson came to work for the Palm Bay Police Department on May 5, 1986. Upon completing his initial assignment with the field training program, Officer Johnson was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. There his duties included responding to calls for assistance from the community, basic investigation, and traffic enforcement.
Officer Johnson was the type of individual that the police profession strives to employ. He worked diligently and was completely devoted to his work. He would work countless hours perfecting his chosen profession. He was dedicated in his belief of the community and the police profession. His co-workers benefited from his admirable ability to take on a job without complaint. He often stated, “This job is the most fun I ever had.” He approached his job with that in mind and the community was the beneficiary. He truly loved being a police officer and always strived to improve himself and his profession.
Officer Gerald Johnson was killed in the line of duty on the 23rd of April, 1987 by a lone gunman. His last act was to come to the aid of his fellow officer. He died while trying to defend himself and the other citizens from attack by the gunman. As a result of his sacrifice, countless lives were saved. His unselfish act will long live with his fellow officers.
Officer Ronald Midgley Grogan
October 6, 1986 - April 23, 1987
Officer Grogan came to work for the Palm Bay Police Department on October 6, 1986. Upon completing his initial assignment with the field training program, Officer Grogan was assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division. There his duties included responding to calls for assistance from the community, basic investigations, and traffic enforcement.
Officer Grogan believed in the service aspects of the police profession. He constantly strived to provide friendly and courteous service to the community and to remain congenial to his peers. His perspective on his work was that the police and community must cooperate in order to ensure a safe and secure community for ourselves and our children. He loved police work and always strived to obtain more knowledge about his chosen profession. He continually worked to improve the community and was dedicated toward accomplishing that goal.
Officer Ronald Grogan was killed in the line of duty on the 23rd of April, 1987, by a lone gunman. His last act was to position his police vehicle between the gunman’s fire and numerous innocent civilians. As a result of his sacrifice, countless lives were saved. He died doing what he wanted to do most; serving and protecting his community.
K9 Officer Idol
Month 2010 - October 2014
K-9 Idol was a six-year-old German Shepherd who served the department since 2010 alongside his partner Officer Dan Ellis. Idol survived life-threatening surgery earlier 2014 and was able to return to duties. He was diagnosed with an aggressive and terminal cancer which caused him chronic and significant pain. “Idol was an excellent police dog, and serving with Dan, was responsible for capturing numerous felons and for locating drugs countless times,” said Commander Diana Blackledge. “He was a beloved member of our pack and earned his place as our brother in law enforcement. Dan, his family, the K9 handlers and the officers who worked with Idol are experiencing a great loss. Let’s remember Idol for the sweet dog he was to us and for the tough dog he was when defending us. It was an honor serving with you, Idol!”