To the caring and concerned residents of Celebration who chose to honor the fallen Kissimmee police officers by attaching blue ribbons to trees and light poles:
In the way of an introduction, I am the manager of the Celebration CDD (“District”) and have been for the last 23 years. My job is to administer the affairs of the District and implement the policies of the governing Board of the District.
One important objective of the District as well as CROA and CNOA is to maintain the beauty and tranquility of Celebration. From the establishment of the District in 1994, it has been the policy of the District not to permit District property to be used for signage, or for attaching banners, notices, and similar displays to trees and light poles.
I am sure many in our community have noticed the blue ribbons attached to the street trees and in some cases light poles to honor the two police officers who were killed in the line of duty last weekend, a true tragedy that touched all of us living in Osceola County. The District has not removed the ribbons at this point, but I think we all need to be on the same page about the proper protocol as to when the ribbons will be removed.
Although a true standard does not exist for using trees and light poles to cover the heartfelt emotions for the two officers shown by our residents, I researched the more traditional way of expressing those feelings and an appropriate timeline.
The standard lies in the lowering to half-staff of our National and State flags. In the case of police officers killed in the line of duty, the flags shall be flown at half-staff on the day of interment at the local agency where the officer was employed, and at the county courthouse and city hall.
As you may know, the two officers will be laid to rest tomorrow. Since the ribbons have been up since last weekend, we have certainly met the guideline established for local and State governments. I would ask those residents who tied the ribbons to please remove them on Saturday morning, August 26.
In the future, I ask that residents refrain from using trees and light poles in this fashion, and perhaps reach out to the families of the officers and donate to them directly or to one of the many sites which have been or are made available.
Thanks for everyone’s understanding during this difficult time.