LMPD trainer connected to fallen officers Zach Cottongim, Nick Rodman

Retired police instructor George Rodman explained this is an incredibly difficult time for Zach Cottongim’s family, as Rodman lost his own son, LMPD officer Nic
Published: Dec. 21, 2021 at 3:54 PM EST
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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - The visitation for fallen LMPD officer Zach Cottongim continues through 8 p.m. Tuesday.

Officers, family, and friends have been paying their respects since noon.

Retired police instructor George Rodman explained this is an incredibly difficult time for Cottongim’s family.

Rodman lost his own son, LMPD officer Nick Rodman, in 2017.

Nick was killed when the suspect he was pursuing crashed into his car.

Seeing a procession of squad cars flashing their red and blues hits too close to George Rodman’s heart.

“It’s kinda deja vu,” retired LMPD instructor George Rodman said. He trained officer Zach Cottongim.

“He was an old country boy, that’s what I used to call him, an old country boy,” Rodman said. “He was kinda quiet, but you knew he had a good heart. I know when he was out here on the streets, just like a lot of the officers do out here, he did a lot of great things that we don’t know about.”

He knows the pain Cottongim’s family is going through too well. Two officers, both in the Metro’s first division, are now gone.

“There are some who were part of that platoon when we lost Nick, so you’ve got some young kids out here that haven’t served a long time but have lost two friends,” Rodman said.

Officers from around the area attended the visitation, including former LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, who also paid his respects.

Rodman said LMPD officers across the department will soldier on. Their job demands it.

“Tomorrow, and these next few days, we have to put our uniform on and go back to work, and they will do that,” said Rodman.

He has one request for the community they’re working for.

“So when you see them, tell them ‘Thank you,’ tell them they’re appreciated, because it truly truly goes a long way,” Rodman said.

Cottongim’s funeral and burial are on Wednesday.

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