Local Law Enforcement Heroes Honored

A 70-year-old tradition was celebrated Sunday in Tallahassee. The "Blue Mass" is an opportunity to say thank you to the men and women who are willing to put their lives on the line to protect us.

The first Blue Mass happened in another capital city, Washington, D.C., back in 1934.

"That was the first Blue Mass, and since then the Bishops have carried out the tradition of having Blue Mass every year and we pray for officers, deputies, EMS, firefighters and Highway Patrol," says Kay Colvin-Guthrie.

That day more than 1,000 men and women dressed in their blue uniforms were honored for their choice to protect and serve. Now, 70 years later, church members say the tradition lives on for good reason.

"It's important that police officers realize this community has a special place in their hearts for them," says Matthew Worthen.

But there have been some changes to the tradition. Men and women who wear green or tan are also honored.

"It shows we're more than just a uniform out in the streets," says Sheriff Larry Campbell.

"It's great to see all my fellow brothers in law enforcement out for a mass like this," Matt Pellegrino adds.

The Catholic Bishops of Florida say they will continue to honor the public safety servants for the next 70 years, most likely even longer than that.

Sunday’s Blue Mass brought out more than 100 officers, deputies, troopers, EMS responders and firefighters. Also, TPD OFC Tracy Clark received the Interfaith Award.