GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Friday was a difficult day for the Gulfport Police Department. Just a day after the tragic death of officer Rob Curry in a police motorcycle accident, men and women who wear the badge returned to work while continuing to grieve.
But that mourning was made a bit easier by the show of support from the police community and public in general.
Chief Alan Weatherford says there continues to be an outpouring of fellow police and community support in the wake of Lt. Curry's sudden death.
Counseling is available for police officers and employees, there's a memorial account set up for Rob Curry's family at Hancock Bank and other police departments are offering personnel or whatever else is needed.
"We have to continue to police our community. And that's what we're doing," said Chief Weatherford, as he faced the challenge of leading his department on this "day after."
With heavy hearts, Gulfport police uphold their promise. The grieving department has the support of the extended law enforcement family during this time of need.
"All over the coast. The state of Mississippi. Outside the state of Mississippi. The phone calls we've received, it's tremendous," said Chief Weatherford.
A police chaplain from Alabama was lending a listening ear and a caring spirit. Leon Adams was visiting the coast on business when he heard of the officer's death.
He's impressed by the counseling program Gulfport quickly made available.
"And they're doing it in a way their officers can go back on the streets, do a good job as police officers, and still deal with the fact they're humans at hearts. And they've lost a friend and a brother in blue," said Chaplain Leon Adams.
Linda Atterberry with Biloxi PD is part of a local law enforcement support group.
"You acknowledge with them that it is one of the worst times of their lives. And will be. But they have to honor and respect the officers who've passed by carrying on with what needs to be done, the job that's being done," said Atterberry.
"I don't think you ever forget things like this, but you do learn to deal with them, to accept them and move on through life and learn from them," said Gulfport officer Brian Smith.
Smith was among the first officers on the scene when his close friend, Rob Curry, went down.
"That's one thing I was so proud of as far as our officers. Initially, we were our own support. And to watch the officers lean on each other, pray with each other until help could come around. It was a phenomenal thing and I'm so proud of the way all our officers and all our employees has handled the tragedy we're dealing with," said Smith.
Funeral arrangements have been made for Lieutenant Robert Curry. Visitation will be Sunday evening from 5:00pm to 7:00pm at Riemann Family Funeral Home in Gulfport.