WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House passed the 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) Bill, which included a provision to rename the Moore Haven Lock and Dam to the Julian Keen Jr. Lock and Dam in honor of the late Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Julian Keen Jr.
Keen, who had worked with the FWC for six years, was killed on June 14 in LaBelle when he was shot, trying to intervene in a hit-and-run incident while off duty. He was well-known in his community for his infectious good nature and willingness to help anyone and everyone, wherever and whenever he could.
U.S. Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart of Florida’s 25th Congressional District, who fought for the name change, issued the following statement:
“I’m humbled to have included a provision in the 2020 Water Resources Development Act (WRDA) designating the name of the Moore Haven Lock and Dam in honor of the late Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) Officer Julian Keen Jr. Officer Keen was fatally shot and killed on June 14 while attempting to stop a hit-and-run suspect while off duty. A lifelong resident of Southwest Florida, Officer Keen was a pillar in his community, a loving friend and family member, and a driving force for good. Affectionately known as ‘Batman,’ he was a six-year veteran of FWC who sought to help all those in need and make a difference in the community.”
Diaz-Balart went on to say: “While this dedication represents merely a fraction of his legacy, it is a token of our appreciation and respect for his service. I thank Representative Greg Steube for working with me to include this provision in WRDA. Back home, I want to thank Mayors Mali Gardner (Clewiston) and David Lyons (LaBelle), as well as Hendry County Sheriff Steve Whidden, Senator Kathleen Passidomo and Representative Byron Donalds for their leadership on this effort, and unwavering support. My thoughts and prayers continue to go to Officer Keen’s family and friends, and I am grateful to have been able to recognize his life and legacy with this designation. I urge my colleagues in the Senate to pass this important piece of legislation.”