TAMPA — On Monday, more than a year after Tampa police Officers David Curtis and Jeffrey Kocab were shot to death on 50th Street, a small group of politicians and police went to the street with so many bad memories.
And they created a good one.
As a solitary rain cloud hovered, state Sen. Arthenia Joyner and police Chief Jane Castor pulled a cover off the large metal sign at 50th Street and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
Officer Jeffrey A Kocab
Officer David L Curtis
It meant a great deal that state officials named part of the road after the two fallen officers, Castor told a group of about 100.
Last legislative session, lawmakers passed a bill naming the portion of 50th Street from MLK to E 21st Avenue in the officers' honor.
Monday morning, the sign was officially unveiled as the widows, mothers and Curtis' four young boys watched.
"Your sons, husbands and your daddies were heroes," said state Sen. Jack Latvala, who led the effort. "And we all appreciate it very, very much."
Joyner, who represents the district where the officers were shot June 29, 2010, said she was humbled to be a co-sponsor of the bill.
"Naming this roadway in their honor will be a lasting memorial," she said. "These officers walked these streets, rode these streets, protecting us every day."
Jessica Vander Velde can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (813) 226-3433.