Hundreds of officers from all over the country came to Atlanta to pay their respects to fallen Atlanta Police Officer Richard Halford's family. Many of them didn't know Halford personally, but said they felt they had to be here because they share a brotherhood.
"Anytime we put on the badge, we know this could happen to any one of us and it just kind of makes it all hit home," Sgt. Bill Connell with Conyers Police Department said.
Officers joined forces at Turner Field. Support for Halford was shown by each police car, motorcycle and helicopter.
"They've given their time. They've given their dedication to their city and their community and it's paramount for us to be here to show the family and the community that we're all a family as police officers," Sgt. Joyce Dent-Fitzpatrick with Columbus Police Department said.
Dent-Fitzpatrick is part of the honor guard. She traveled from Columbus where Halford attended high school.
"To be in the honor guard, this is the last ultimate service you can do for anybody by showing up for their funeral," Dent-Fitzpatrick said.
Fellow pilot Deputy Sheriff Doug Eddins of Escambia County, FL, said he felt compelled to be in Atlanta.
"It's always a tragedy when you lose one of your fellow officers, but for me personally, I'm also a pilot so it just kind of hit home a little more," Eddins said.
The number of officers involved in the motorcade were too many to count, a testament to what Halford meant to Atlanta and his family in law enforcement.
"Our hearts are heavy. We've all experienced a loss and it kind of brings home the risk that we take every day the fact that we have to redouble our efforts to protect ourselves and our brother law enforcement officers," Connell said.
Copyright 2012 WGCL-TV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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