Widow of slain sergeant pleased that park will be named after husband
For three decades, Mirtha Busbin has been waiting for her late husband to be honored.
"It's been a long time overdue," she said recently. "I think the ball has been dropped a few times."
Busbin's husband was Fort Pierce police Sgt. Danny Parrish.
In 1991, Parrish had stopped an 18-year-old driver for going the wrong way down a one-way street. As he attempted to arrest the teen for having no license, there was a struggle. The teen got hold of Parrish's gun and shot him repeatedly.
Thirty years later, Busbin's tireless efforts are about to bear fruit.
"We're planning to build a memorial for fallen first responders, which will be named the Sgt. Danny Parrish Fallen First Responders Park," Fort Pierce police Deputy Chief Robert Ridle said.
A new sign for a renamed park is just the start.
"We're going to see a life-sized statue of an officer in full dress uniform saluting toward the flag and toward the park across the street," the deputy chief said.
The department raised the $57,000 cost. Busbin has seen pictures of the statue under construction. She said she was contacted by the artist to provide some of Parrish's physical attributes like his height, weight and mustache.
"The statue is a memorial to all fallen first responders, including Sgt. Danny Parrish, who tragically lost his life protecting the citizens of Fort Pierce," Ridle said.
While not designed to be an exact image of her late husband, Busbin said she loved what she saw.
"It's very close, but just the fact the statue will represent him in such a professional and really exciting way, I think, it's going to be an impact for our town and the county itself," she said.
There is a small headstone in the police visitor parking lot, under an oak tree that was planted shortly after Parrish's death.
But Busbin points to Fort Pierce's police headquarters and substation that have been named for other officers killed in the line of duty.
Now, she said, it's her late husband's turn to be recognized.
"He sacrificed his life for this community and this town that absolutely loved him and adored him, so I don't want him to be forgotten," Busbin said.
The Fort Pierce Police Department plans to have the statue out in front of the main station sometime next year.
Scripps Only Content 2021