Officer Charles B. Stafford was the first and only Miami Springs Police Officer killed in the line of duty. On June 11, 1991, Officer Stafford stopped the driver of a stolen car and was shot to death by the thief. Officer Stafford’s widow and their two daughters are residents of Miami Springs. Stafford Park, located at 501 East Drive, was renamed in his memory. A plaque honoring Officer Stafford is located at the police department’s main entrance. It reads: “In memory of Officer Charles B. Stafford who made the ultimate sacrifice while serving his community in the line of duty”.

Charles B. Stafford - Slain Miami Springs Police Officer

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On 06/11/91, Miami Springs Police Officer Charles Stafford pulled over Merrit A. Sims because Stafford believed that Sims was driving a stolen car. 

While Stafford was in the process of handcuffing Sims, Sims hit the officer in the head with his police radio and took Stafford’s firearm away from him.  Sims shot Stafford with the firearm twice.

He then drove to a park and threw the firearm into a river.  The next day Sims found a friend to cut off the handcuffs.

Sims traveled to California by bus to find his ex-girlfriend and two children, and Sims subsequently was arrested.  He confessed to killing Officer Stafford; however, he said that the act was in self-defense.  Sims waived extradition and was returned to Florida to stand trial.

Charles B. Stafford park on East Drive was named after the fallen officer as a memorial.

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