The Ocean Springs Police Department is mourning the death of one of their own. Officer Rodger Blades died early Tuesday morning while off-duty in a single-car accident.
Officials say Blades made a sharp turn, apparently lost control of his truck, and hit a pine tree in St. Andrews.
His death shocked the entire police department. But fellow officers say Blades' death isn't just a tragedy for the department - the entire community will feel the loss.
"He loved working programs. He worked programs with Walmart, he worked programs the GREAT program, he had elderly programs he worked so they wouldn't get scammed, he was just started our junior police officer program here in Ocean Springs," Deputy Chief George Mulvaney said.
Rodger Blades worked in law enforcement for 26 years.
Among his many community activities, Blades worked with the Special Olympics. His death will leave a void at next week's games on the coast.