DADE CITY — Fifteen years after the slaying of Pasco Sheriff’s Capt. Charles "Bo" Harrison brought shock and sadness to the community that loved him, emotions still run high as more honors come his way.
Pasco County is preparing to honor Harrison’s memory June 1. The ceremony will celebrate his life of service and mourn his slaying at the hands of a sniper while he sat in his patrol car conducting surveillance on a Lacoochee nightclub.
On Tuesday, the Dade City Commission bestowed another honor on the fallen deputy.
Under a new proclamation, June 1 will forever be known as Capt. Charles "Bo" Harrison Day in Dade City, where the 33-year sheriff’s veteran grew up. He later served in the U.S. Army in Vietnam before returning to a distinguished career with the Sheriff’s Office.
He was 57 and set to retire in weeks when gunshots tore into his cruiser 15 years ago.
The state Legislature in 2004 re-named a stretch of U.S. 301 in Pasco after Harrison, and Dade City did the same in 2015 on a portion of 11th Street where he once lived.
Willie Broner spoke of his lifelong friend during the proclamation ceremony Tuesday, recalling their time growing up in Dade City playing sports, for which Harrison’s talent gained notoriety.
"I couldn’t hold his shoelaces," Broner said with a smile.
Broner fought back tears as he remembered Harrison while the two served in Vietnam.
After the ceremony, Broner told of a time during the war when he was caught in enemy territory, and Sgt. Harrison risked a 20-mile trek to get him back.
Then came Harrison’s decades of service with the Sheriff’s Office and as a football league coach, among other acts of giving to his community that made him so loved.
"He served his community as a server and protector," Broner said.
His former high school classmate, Hazel Wells, said Harrison was known in school as "Bo Bo." Wells lobbied the commission for the proclamation and said Tuesday was a great day for Harrison and community.
"This is just a dream come true," she said.
Pasco Sheriff’s Cpl. Jessica Ziegler is another part of Harrison’s legacy: one of teaching.
The community policing deputy held a painting of Harrison, who was her lieutenant when she began at the Sheriff’s Office years ago. She said Harrison taught her everything she knows.
"To know him was to love him," she said.
The "Bo Harrison Memorial" is planned for June 1, from 10-11 a.m., at the Boys and Girls Club, 38724 Mud Cat Grant Blvd., in Lacoochee.