MPD lieutenant remembered as great leader, hero - - The News for South Mississippi

MPD lieutenant remembered as great leader, hero

Rian with his brother Josh and sister in law Leslie. (Source: The Rider Family) Rian with his brother Josh and sister in law Leslie. (Source: The Rider Family)

Those who knew Lt. Rian Rider on a professional level say there is no doubt he'd found his calling as a police officer.

The veteran lawman was swimming with family members in the Gulf of Mexico in Orange Beach when he and his niece got caught in a rip current. Rider was able to rescue his niece, but he wasn't able to free himself. He was pulled from the water by lifeguards and pronounced dead at a Pensacola hospital.

Rider started with the Montgomery Police Department in 2002 and had served in the patrol, traffic, juvenile and criminal investigations divisions. He was currently commander over the Specials Victims and Domestic Violence unit.

"Lieutenant Rider was one of our local heroes and will be difficult to replace," a statement released by MPD and the Montgomery Department of Public Safety said. "Mayor Todd Strange, Director J. Christopher Murphy and Interim Chief of Police John E. Brown would like the Rider Family to know their heartfelt appreciation for Lieutenant Rider's service to the City of Montgomery and the Montgomery Police Department."

Colleagues remember Rider as a dedicated leader.

"He was a staple for the police department," said friend Scott Green.

Green is the Deputy District Attorney for Montgomery County. Green worked closely with Rider.

When Rider arrived at the Montgomery County Courthouse with a case file, there was no doubt he had done his homework and checked out everything that needed to be investigated, Green said.

"He was a great leader, a great detective and knew how to train great detectives," Green said.

Rider was shot in the line of duty five years ago in Montgomery. Green recalled Rider's determination to turn the corner and come back to the police department.

Green remembered something else, something remarkable.

"I never heard him complain about anything even when he was recovering. He took him awhile to get back," Green said.

Rider would have turned 35 later this month.

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