A strong show of support is expected at Investigator Cecil Ridley’s funeral by officers from across the country.
Locally, Columbia County will be leading the procession.
Major of Field Operations, Sharif Chochol, says supporting fellow officers of other agencies is something they do every day, but tomorrow it will just be more visible to the public.
NewsChannel 6 also caught up with Richmond County’s Marshal, Ramone Lamkin, at their turkey giveaway this afternoon.
Both officers knew him well, and spoke with a heavy heart.
“He was a law enforcement officer out there working hard to make sure we stay safe, the public stays safe, and anytime a law enforcement officer gets killed in the line of duty it’s an attack on everybody really,” says Major Chochol.
He worked closely with Investigator Ridley during both of their careers. The word he used for tomorrows proceedings is “heartbreaking.”
“In the past we’ve seen a lot of civilians come out and line the streets,” says Major Chochol. “I wouldn’t be surprised if that happens tomorrow. You’ll also see law enforcement from all across the country, actually.”
Marshal Lamkin knew Investigator Ridley for over 20 years.
He says, “we all lost a brother in blue and it’s something that, you know, we don’t want to experience these funerals and stuff, but we show support when we do have in-the-line-of-duty deaths.”
His team will be participating in the ceremony as well.
“We’re going to have our operations participating tomorrow. We are honorary pall bearers in services,” says Marshal Lamkin.
NewsChannel 6 reporter, Jenna Kelley, asked Major Chochol, “there’s that unfortunate chance that, not you specifically, but officers might not make it back, is this something that you guys think about every morning?”
He responded, “It’s a risk we know is there. The men and women that go to work every day know that this is a possibility. We don’t want it to happen, we work hard to make sure we stay safe about it, but, you know, make sure we’re training hard and adjusting our tactics appropriately, but it’s always a risk. We all know that, and, you know, when an officer gets killed in the line of duty it’s a stark reminder of how dangerous this job can be.”
Marshal Lamkin agrees with what Major Chochol says. He told NewsChannel 6 that this is an eye opener. He tells his team to tell his loved ones how much they are loved before they leave for work every morning.