Hundreds of people turned out to remember a Hardeeville police officer killed in a car crash last Sunday while responding to a call. Funeral services were held today for Cpl. Mark Jones. Many in attendance didn't even know Cpl. Jones, but they came to show their respect.
Officers from Beaufort County, Chatham County, even as far away as Atlanta, came to pay their respect to the 34-year-old officer.
"You know, when you lose a brother officer, it's not only a loss to the agency who this officer worked for," said Maj. David Randall of the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office. "It's a loss to the entire law enforcement community and the community as a whole."
And that bond goes far beyond any department line. "Just right across the county line, we work so closely with Jasper County Sheriff's Office, Hardeeville PD, until it's just like losing one of our own," said Maj. Randall.
"It's hard to explain," said Officer Shane Pierce of the Lawrenceville Police Department. "Only I think soldiers that join each other in battle, firemen and policemen actually understand the loss. You don't have to know the man or woman that fell in the line of duty, but you know that could be any of us, our best friend."
And for the Hardeeville Police officers who are still mourning the loss of one of their own, all this support is greatly appreciated.
"Sometimes it's overwhelming to see so many people there," said Officer Kent Analla. "Somebody you don't know personally, that you don't work with, that they can come and just be a part of your family, your extended family."
Cpl. Jones was well respected and liked in his community and will be greatly missed.
He leaves behind a wife and three children.