Thursday night a procession was held after the heartbreaking loss of Alto police officer Keith Radcliff.
For more than 40 miles there was a line of first responders, all heading to Jacksonville where the visitation was to be held.
Officer Keith Radcliff was on his way home Tuesday when he was called for a welfare check.
Without hesitation the devoted officer changed course and headed to the scene.
While there the officer had a medical event and collapsed.
“I just got in my car and drove to the scene and the ambulance was there, they were loading him up,” said Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson. “Your heart just sinks when you hear that call ‘officer down’.”
He was pronounced dead Thursday afternoon at 4:41 p.m. at CHRISTUS Trinity Mother Francis hospital in Tyler.
For his brothers in blue–a massive call of solidarity as scores of first responders joined in on a procession in his honor.
“It’s emotional you get attached to these guys especially in a small department like we are,” said Chief Jackson. “You hang out with them at work every day, you hang out with them after work, they’re your friends.”
In his brief time with Alto PD, Officer Radcliff quickly established who he was: a family guy, a gentleman and a good officer.
Those who knew him and worked with him, including a retired social worker, stood at attention as the cars went by paying their respects.
“He was a fine gentleman and he always made me feel very safe around him as he was watching the person that I was interviewing,” said Susan Washburn, Jacksonville Resident.
His loss was felt all throughout East Texas.
“He was a great father, a great friend to everybody,” said Washburn. “It was absolutely devastating, just devastating. It’s going to be a big loss for everybody that knew him.”
“As I’ve been in law enforcement there’s been three people that I will say I would walk through hell with and he was one of those guys,” said Chief Jackson. “My grandpa used to tell me that you could always be replaced, Keith Radcliff will never be replaced in my department.”
Officer Radcliff’s funeral is set to be held at the First Baptist Church in his hometown of Rusk.