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Rays to retire call signs of fallen officers

TBO.com
Published:   |   Updated: March 20, 2013 at 04:15 PM
ST. PETERSBURG -

The Tampa Bay Rays will "retire" the official radio call signs of the three St. Petersburg police officers killed in 2011, the first officers lost in the line of duty in St. Petersburg in more than 30 years.  The ceremony will take place at Tropicana Field prior to the Rays-Orioles game on Friday, May 13 at 7:10 p.m.

 Sergeant Thomas Baitinger and Officer Jeffrey Yaslowitz were slain as they attempted to arrest a fugitive on January 24. Four weeks later, on February 21, Officer David Crawford was killed as he attempted to apprehend a robbery suspect.

 All three worked at Rays games at Tropicana Field and were well-known by Rays fans and employees throughout the park.

 "These men were a part of our Tropicana Field family," said Rays President Matt Silverman. "Their service contributed to a safer St. Petersburg, and they also helped create a more welcoming environment at Rays games.  We miss them dearly, and they will not be forgotten."

 The radio call signs of each officer will be permanently displayed beyond the right field wall at Tropicana Field.

"The Tampa Bay Rays have created a powerful, lasting tribute for our three police officers who recently made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty," said St. Petersburg Chief of Police Chuck Harmon.  "This heartfelt act reminds all of us in the St. Petersburg Police Department of the incredible support we have received from our community in our time of sorrow, and sustains us with the realization that we do not stand alone."

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