Philadelphia police officer makes portrait for Inv. Ridley

Friday, November 22, 2019
News 12 at 6 o'clock

Philadelphia Police Officer Jonny Castro makes portraits for fallen police offcers around the country. (Source: Jonny Castro)

AUGUSTA, GA (WRDW/WAGT) - It's not just people from Augusta paying their respects to Investigator Cecil Ridley, who lost his life in the line of duty Tuesday night.

One officer from the Philadelphia Police Department creates portraits of fallen law enforcement officials from around the country. When he heard the news about Investigator Ridley, he immediately got to work.

By day, Officer Jonny Castro is a forensic artist.

"They would bring a victim or a witness down and I would draw the person they had seen commit the crime," he said.

But during his free time, he uses his pencil for another reason.

"I started a little over three years ago. We had an officer in our department who was killed in the line of duty - Officer Robert Wilson. So, it started with his. He was my first and since then, I've done 500," said Castro.

When he heard of the passing of Investigator Cecil Ridley, he quickly got to work.

"It's just a way to give back to all these officers - especially their families. These families have lost everything," said Castro.

Unfortunately, he's been extremely busy with portrait-painting lately.

"This month has been extremely rough for law enforcement. In fact, right now, I think we're at nine or 10 just for the month," he said.

Every portrait is a reminder of the sacrifices these men and women make.

"The job never gets any less dangerous. Officers are always going to be out there doing proactive police work, and because of that, these officers are going to lose their lives in the line of duty" said Castro.

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