Reporter: James Gherardi l Videographer: Levi Washburn
Richmond, VA - Family members of fallen Virginia Tech Police Officer, Deriek Crouse were in Richmond Thursday, as the Governor presided over the Virginia Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial Ceremony. The Service honored officers who've passed away in the line of during 2011.
Lost but never forgotten were the words the Governor used to describe these officers. For the Virginia Tech Police Department, today was a reminder of the terrible events of December 8th. But also an honor to remember a man they say died doing what he loved.
"They're willing to take these extraordinary risks to protect people that they really don't even know," said Governor Bob McDonnell.
"I know in my heart, that Officer Deriek Crouse was a hero long before he made the ultimate sacrifice on December 8, 2011," said Virginia Tech Police Chief, Wendell Flinchum.
And so in front of a crowd of friends and family of fallen Virginia law enforcement, the memory of Deriek Crouse was honored. Governor McDonnell presented a plaque to Crouse's son, as a symbol of the state's appreciation for his sacrifice.
"We will not forget these sacrifices. That the people of Virginia are safer, free-er, and more secure because of these sacrifices," said McDonnell.
Crouse's service ended in a flash, when a fugitive shot and killed him, while he was on a traffic stop. "Deriek always let his actions speak far louder than his words. He was the real deal. He cared deeply for his family, fellow officers, his community, and his country. He cared deeply for all of us," said Flinchum.
Family looked on, as Flinchum honored Crouse, proud of all he stood for; so sad he's not around. "This was a very beautiful ceremony; it was very much appreciated by the family. It is great to hear kind words spoken about someone that I love deeply," said Crouse's Aunt, Anne Didio.
"He was just doing his job, doing his duty, ready to respond to whatever may come up that day, in order to keep our community safe," said Flinchum.
Crouse was among six Virginia officers honored Thursday. He was on the Virginia Tech Police force for four years.