Scott Richardson, Aiken Public Safety officer killed in the line of duty in December 2011. (WRDW-TV / Dec. 21, 2011)
Saturday, Dec. 24, 2011
AIKEN, S.C. -- Officer Scott Richardson's family says they are overwhelmed by the support and encouragement they continue to receive from the community and even across the country.
Aiken Department of Public Safety Director Pete Frommer says the outpouring from the community is helping heal Officer Richardson's family and his -- the law enforcement community.
So, on this Christmas Eve, he wanted to simply say thank you.
"I thought it would be appropriate just to let them know that we're doing OK," Frommer said.
It's been a week full of emotions.
"We had a department meeting two mornings ago and we had the whole department there, of course, we wanted to make sure all of the officers knew the facts and we had grief counselors there. They did a lot of talking, hugging," he said.
As Richardson's law enforcement brothers and sisters cope with the events of Tuesday night, they are relying on each other for comfort.
"Some of them that were down and sad and had their heads down, they are standing tall again and we're bonding as a family," Frommer said.
It's a family that is usually watching out for you, and this week, Frommer says the community has been watching out for them.
"Being out in the community, I'm overwhelmed by the support, the love of the people in our town and the concern they have, but I just want to let them know we are doing okay, we are getting stronger every day," Frommer said.
So is Richardson's family. He leaves behind a wife and three small children.
"The family is trying to get some normality back to their lives," Frommer said. "Their children Friday, they went to the park and they played and actually spent some time with the officers' children."
Frommer said the family is thankful for your support, too.
"What we ask people is to send them letters so that they can take the time and read those letters and digest all of this love they're feeling," he said.
And on this Christmas Eve, Frommer simply wants you to, "Have a Merry Christmas. Have a very good Christmas just say a prayer for us and we'll be okay."
Frommer asks people to remember Officer Travis Griffin in all of this. While he's home with his family on this holiday, it was his bulletproof vest that allowed that.
Richardson and Griffin's colleagues on that night shift have been put on administrative leave just to give them some time to heal.