Local 10 News reporter honors father killed in line of duty

Erica Rakow attends ceremony for fallen officers in Doral

DORAL, Fla. – Police departments throughout Miami-Dade County are honoring their fallen officers in a month of remembrance.

May is the national month of recognition for those law enforcement officers who were killed in the line of duty.

Project HERO, which stands for Honoring Every Resting Officer, was started in 2011 in an effort to memorialize those officers at their resting place.

Local 10 News reporter Erica Rakow took part in Friday's ceremony in Doral, but it wasn't just for work. Her father, Miami Beach police Officer Scott Rakow, was killed in the line of duty in 1988 and is buried at the cemetery there.

"During the history of Miami-Dade County, over 130 officers have died in the line of duty," Miami-Dade police Capt. Mike Dieppa said.

That was why officers from multiple agencies, including the Miami Beach Police Department, gathered to place flags at their graves.

Miami-Dade police Assistant Director Freddy Ramirez said Project HERO is "to remind them that we care about them."

Among the stops for the Miami Beach police honor guard was the grave of Scott Rakow.

"Hopefully, when the families come and visit their loved one, they know that their loved one is still in our hearts at the city of Miami Beach Police Department," Detective Shantell Mitchell said.

It's a promise that the Miami Beach Police Department made to Scott Rakow's daughter when she was just 6 months old. She was at home with a babysitter while thousands attended her father's funeral and burial in Doral.

Now an adult, Erica Rakow had the honor of joining Miami Beach police officers Friday as she placed the American flag and eternal blue line above her father's grave marker, as well as the marker for Miami Beach police Officer Donald Kramer, who was killed in 1984.

Officers from Miami-Dade police, the city of Miami and Coral Gables visited their heroes at cemeteries.

Ramirez said the fallen serve as reminders of the sacrifices that officers and their families make each day.

The flags will remain at the graves throughout the month of May.

Each agency will hold memorial services leading to a national ceremony in Washington, D.C.

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