Columbus speakers honor fallen law enforcement officers at annual memorial


COLUMBUS, Georgia (WRBL)Each year, the Columbus Police Department (CPD) hosts the Columbus Against Drugs Inc. (CAD Inc.) Fallen Officers Memorial to honor law enforcement officers who have fallen in the line of duty. This year, it was held Thursday in front of the Columbus City Services Center. Various law enforcement officers, their families, elected officials and others were present.

There were several speakers, including Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson, Columbus Police Chief Freddie Blackmon, Columbus City Councilman and CAD Inc. member John House, Columbus Fire and EMS Chief Salvatore Scarpa and President of CAD Inc. Minister Linda Robinson.

sergeant. CPD’s Angela Florence welcomed everyone and guided them through the program as it went. Prayers were said at the beginning and end of the ceremony.

Henderson was the first major speaker.

Above, Columbus Mayor Skip Henderson delivers his speech.

“To the law enforcement officers who are here, we hope that by spending just an hour here, it sends a message that this community is behind you, that this community has respect for you and that the community is praying for you. regularly,” he said.

Henderson said his message each year to law enforcement is basically, “Thank you.” He appointed CPD Command Sgt. Richard “Rick” McMahan, passed away October 13, 2021.

“And his service to the people of this community will not be forgotten,” he said. “And the service provided by everyone else here in Columbus, Georgia and the state of Georgia and really in this country either.”

Blackmon said the memorial was an annual event that began as a tribute to deceased CPD officer Charles E. Osborne, Jr. who was shot by a minor in 1994.

“So I mean the job of a police officer is not an easy job,” he said. “As police officers, we encounter many challenges throughout our careers. Despite the challenges, we persevere.

Blackmon said law enforcement officers are “prepared to run in the face of danger”, not always knowing if they would return home to their families.

“The police officers we honor today, they put themselves in harm’s way to serve and protect the citizens of Columbus, Georgia,” he said. “They knew the dangers of the job, but they never hesitated to do the job, nor did they back down.”

Blackmon referenced Psalm 37, which says not to worry about wrongdoers or be envious of them.

“In other words, we have to keep our cool and stay in control of ourselves,” he said. “It is imperative that we remain calm when we encounter criminals. Their progress is only temporary. Then they will be cut like grass. David continues his counsel by telling the people to trust in the Lord.

He asked listeners to trust God to help them deal with wrongdoers.

House said everyone at CAD Inc cares about law enforcement officers.

“You take the chaos and you bring order to that chaos,” he said. “And most people in today’s society don’t do that.”

“I would just like to say to the family and friends of the dead, you have a difficult and heavy burden to bear,” Thomas said. “And we hope to be able to stand up to this, to help in the appropriate way and to express the gratitude of our community for the sacrifice that the dead have made for us.”

Scarpa said that like law enforcement officers, firefighters are public servants. On behalf of the Columbus Fire and EMS Department, he thanked law enforcement for their service and said his department would continue to support them in their efforts.

Robinson said it takes a lot of love to be a law enforcement officer and said she prays for law enforcement officers all the time.

“And to me, they can’t say anything bad about you all,” she said. “I always get defensive when they say something about the police department, the sheriff’s department. I tell them all just like that – They have a family that loves them. They come out every day to help us. They also want to return home safely. So we have to do what we have to do to help them, because they can’t do it on their own. »

Robinson said the Columbus community could come together and make Columbus safe again. She said that when she was growing up, the city was a beautiful place to live.

“You didn’t have to worry about being shot if you walked through your door,” she said. “We might have a fight once in a while, and I’m talking about a fist fight. But we lived to talk about it the next day and become best friends. Right? So if we come together and keep lifting ourselves up instead of falling down, everything will be fine again. And if we surround our officers with the love they need and the support they need, all will be well again.

Towards the end of the ceremony, members of CAD Inc. stood to light candles representing fallen law enforcement officers.


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