Law enforcement community embraces Ridley family following his death in the line of duty

Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019
News 12 at 6 O’Clock/NBC at 7

The flags outside the Richmond County Sheriff's Office were lowered Wednesday after the death of Investigator Cecil Ridley. (Source: WRDW)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) -- Most people who choose law enforcement as a career are prepared to make sacrifices that come with the job, but their families are making sacrifices, too.

Think of Investigator Cecil Ridley's family who will be burying a husband, dad, and grandfather.

It was the night of Ridley’s shooting that worried Katherine Darling, who is also the wife of a law enforcement officer.

“He now works traffic during the day,” Darling said. “For 12 years, he was on the DUI task force.”

It’s a job she called “not for the faint of heart” because every time her husband walks out the door, she doesn’t know if he’ll return.

“You don't know if it's gonna be the last kiss, you don't know if it's gonna be the last hug, you don't know if they're gonna come home,” Darling said.

So when Darling heard of Ridley’s passing, it hit hard.

“It's the same thing that goes through every cop wife's mind -- that it could always happen to us,” Darling said.

But with all that anxiety and all that unknown, she says it's a life she would not trade.

“It makes him happy to go out there and make people safe,” Darling said.

And it’s a job that makes her daughters proud, too.

“She chases him down the street saying bye sometimes,” Darling said. “She knows her dad’s a hero.”

Darling says the thin blue line is a family and she will be attending Ridley's funeral and supporting his family any way she can.

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