The stretch of city road in front of the Broward Sheriff's Office district headquarters is now dedicated to Sgt. Chris Reyka, who gave his life while protecting this community.
On Tuesday, city commissioners renamed a portion of Southwest Third Street in Reyka's honor. Sgt. Chris Reyka Place will run along Cypress Road to Dixie highway and border the city's public safety complex.
"Chris was a part of Pompano for 18 years and now will be a part of Pompano forever," said interim Sheriff Al Lamberti.
Reyka, who spent his 18-year career in Pompano Beach, was shot and fatally wounded on Aug. 10 as he worked the night shift. He had been checking for stolen cars in the Walgreens parking lot on Powerline Road. Authorities have yet to make an arrest in his murder.
Reyka's friends, family and co-workers packed the Commission Chambers for Tuesday's special ceremony. Reyka's widow, Kim, and their four children applauded as Mayor Lamar Fisher unveiled the green street sign bearing Reyka's name.
The audience also sang Happy Birthday to Reyka's daughter, Autumn, who turned 16 on Tuesday. Son Sean, 20, extended his leave with the Marines to attend the event. He is stationed in Pensacola and returns today.
Kim Reyka briefly thanked the crowd at the close of the ceremony and the family posed for pictures.
"It's probably the strongest family I've ever seen," said former senior Sgt. Martin Katz, who worked with Reyka and retired from the Sheriff's Office after his death.
Katz is working to have the city's public safety building renamed in Reyka's honor.
Another longtime co-worker, Detective Sgt. Sam Cavalieri, who couldn't attend the event, said Tuesday that the street sign would be a reminder of Reyka's unwavering commitment to Pompano Beach.
"His death is tragic but his contribution and his service to the city is extremely honorable," he said.
Melissa Hoyos can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 954-356-4233.