LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Louisville Metro Police Officer Nick Rodman was remembered as a hero during a Thursday morning service at the Louisville Police Memorial in Jefferson Square Park.
"This moment and this memorial serve as painful reminders to us all of the dangers that our Louisville Metro police officers face everyday on the job," Louisville Mayor Greg Fischer said during the brief service held shortly after a downpour.
Rodman died Wednesday afternoon, less than one day after he was involved in a violent car crash with the suspect vehicle during a high-speed pursuit in the Portland neighborhood.
"Nick died as he lived - a hero," LMPD Chief Steve Conrad said. "He will never be forgotten by the men and women of this department. He will never be forgotten by this community. He made the ultimate sacrifice doing what he believed in and what he loved."
Rodman's father, George Rodman, and brother, Andy Rodman, are also LMPD officers. Fischer said the Rodmans, whom he called "one of the great families of LMPD," had served a combined 41 years on the force.
"As the son and brother of LMPD officers, Nick Rodman understood the dangers and still raised his right hand as a recruit and proudly swore his oath of office because he believed in police work," Fischer added. "He understood that the most fundamentally critical job of any city or any society is to protect its citzens and keep the community safe so each of us can pursue our dreams."
Conrad said Rodman had been with LMPD for three years and three months and described him as an "incredible" police officer.
He was all about making our city safe and all about doing the job," Conrad said. "And quite frankly, I think he would have looked at this (memorial) and said, 'What are we doing? Get back to work. We have a community to protect.' Nick recognized that each and every day and he brought that commitment to the job. He brought that commitment to this calling that we call service."
Fischer promised his office and Metro Government would provide the support the Rodman family and LMPD need in the days, weeks and years to come.
We owe that to Nick and to everyone that puts their lives on the line for our citizens every single day," the mayor said.
"Nick, you made a difference," Conrad said. "We are a safer community because of you and because of your efforts. We thank God for your work and for your sacrifice."
Rodman was the second LMPD officer killed in the line of duty since the city-county merger led to a combined police department in 2003. Officer Peter Grignon was shot and killed by a suspect on March 23, 2005 - 12 years to the week that Rodman died.
Rodman's name will be added to the Louisville Police Memorial at a later date.
Besides his father and brother, Rodman leaves behind his wife Ashley, his toddler son Mason, his newborn daughter Ellie Jean, his mother Linda and his sister Carly.