Search the names of 20,000 law enforcement engraved in Washington D.C.’s National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial. You will find Apopka police Officer Denson L. Hudson. He also appears on the Officer Down Memorial website.
In Apopka, however, Hudson is most notably identified on a modest headstone at his own gravesite shared with his late wife, Clio, at Greenwood Cemetery. Other than that, Hudson, who died on duty in 1941, is pretty much lost in Apopka history – until now.
The Apopka Police Department, 112 E. Sixth St., will honor Hudson’s on-duty death with a special service and plaque dedication at the department on May 15 during National Police Week. The service will begin at 10:30 a.m. Police officers, historians and surviving family and friends will attend.
The plaque to be placed near the Police Department entrance will feature a portrait taken of Hudson prior to 1941 along with an American flag and the Apopka Police Department patch. Text on the plaque includes the date of his death and an explanation of his shooting.
Hudson and police Chief Fred Risener investigated an open window at the Standard Oil fuel station back on March 18, 1941 when they surprised two suspects attempting to break open the safe. The parties exchanged gunfire.
Hudson ran to his vehicle to retrieve a weapon, when he was hit by a bullet in his back. Hudson died at Orange County General Hospital. He was buried at Greenwood Cemetery and survived by his wife and five children.
The Hudson family had lived in Apopka for several years. Officer Hudson worked with Apopka police for several months prior to his untimely death.
The City of Apopka is a growing area ideally located 13 miles northwest of Orlando with major roadway access to many parts of Central Florida. The hometown community has nearly 50,000 residents across 33 square miles and includes a diverse mix of business development.