Opinion: Final thoughts about a tragic ending

Opinion: Proffitt's final thoughts about a tragic ending

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WHAS11) – Can you imagine being arrested by a police officer and then sitting down later, writing him a letter, to thank him for that little talk he gave you?

Hey...you write...it saved my life.

One true story about Louisville's fallen officer Nick Rodman I learned today, and heard for the first time, along with the rest of the city.

We have a complicated relationship with police in our country and here at home in Louisville.  Police are under more scrutiny today than ever before, as they should be. They carry the power of life and death on their hip but when we need them, we really need them.

Someone needed Officer Nick Rodman last week. They dialed 911 and he responded to an area where gunshots were reportedly being fired. He drove into danger. It eventually led to the fatal collision with a fleeing suspect.

In our current climate of questions about some officers, could we not have had a more polar extreme in Nick Rodman? Police forces across the country are trying to get people to be officers. They can't fill retirements fast enough.

Rodman was not only in our backyard, but chose to work in one of the city's toughest divisions. The First Division was his first assignment and he remained there until his death – working late nights, with a young family.

Sunday evening dinners he never missed with the entire Rodman family. It is a wonderful tradition that they carry on to this day. He called his mother on a regular, if not daily basis, just to check in.

As I watched and listened during our daylong coverage of the funeral and the burial, we heard the story of a perfect student with top grades in high school and college, and a top athlete. His family with a 41 year heritage of service with Louisville policing.

You could say he was the best kind of officer for our city – involved, compassionate, hardworking and a leader. A listener to those in a rough time in life.

In the end, I think the greatest compliment came from WHAS viewer Ann Stewart Harris, who sent us this note, "We love you always and miss you Officer Nick...Thank you for caring for Portland...he may not have been born here but he was a "Portland boy".

© 2017 WHAS-TV


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