It’s a day many will never forget in Baton Rouge and surrounding areas, especially for law enforcement. Although it’s a tough day the Baton Rouge Police Department and East Baton Rouge Sheriff’s Office, officials want it to be a day of remembrance.
Three years ago, Officer Matthew Gerald and Corporal Montrell Jackson along with East Baton Rouge Sheriff Deputy Brad Garafola were killed in the line of duty by Gavin Long during an ambush attack on Airline Hhighway near Benny’s Carwash.
Long also injured three others including Deputy Nick Tullier who’s still recovering today.
That shooting left many in shock and made national headlines reeling from several officers killed in Dallas just ten days before.
Memorials were made to honor those fallen that permanently stand for people to visit and pay their respects.
An officer wellness program was initiated through BRPD soon after to help officers cope with the aftermath.
Sergeant Rendy Richard says although officers serve the community, it’s a lot of weight they carry on their shoulders.
“It’s tough. People have to understand there’s a whole different side than what people see besides us arresting people all the time. We really care for our community. The chief has backed up 100 percent on the wellness program. It’s time to start taking care of the officers, putting them first and making sure they’re good to go,” Richard says.
Richard says squads on Jackson and Gerald’s team typically get together to honor their memory on this day.
She also wants the public to show gratitude to any deputy or officer they may see out today and thank them for their service.