Street re-naming creates permanent memorial for fallen St. Pete officers

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A permanent memorial for the three St. Petersburg police officers killed in the line of duty earlier this year becomes reality during street re-naming ceremonies on Monday, August 15. The ceremony to honor Sgt. Tom Baitinger, K-9/TAC Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz and Officer David Crawford will take place at All Children’s Hospital Education and Conference Center, 701 Fourth Street S., at 9 a.m., in the large auditorium.

Hosted by Florida State Senator Jack Latvala and Florida State Representative Jim Frishe, the ceremony will honor the contribution the three men made to the community during their career in law enforcement.  Sgt. Baitinger and Officer Yaslowitz gave the ultimate sacrifice on January 24, 2011, followed less than a month later by Officer David Crawford on February 21.

The memorial highway designation covers the portion of State Road 687 (Fourth St. N.) between I-275 and I-175 and will be known as “Sgt. Thomas J. Baitinger, Officer Jeffrey A. Yaslowitz and Officer David S. Crawford Memorial Highway.”  One memorial marker will be placed in front of 470 Third St. S., in St. Petersburg, while a second will be located where Fourth St. N. connects with I-275 and the Howard Frankland Bridge.

Parking for the 9 a.m. ceremony will be available in the lot directly behind All Children’s Education and Conference Center, accessible from either Seventh or Eighth Ave. S. Metered parking is also available on Seventh and Eighth Aves. S. and on Fifth St. S.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.