If a member of the Metro Nashville Police Department died in the line of duty, Central Precinct Officer John Anderson would have been ready to play bagpipes at the funeral. Now, the same Drill and Ceremony Team that Anderson played with will honor his memory at a funeral Monday afternoon.
Metro Nashville Police Lieutenant Matthew Sears always found something to talk about with Officer John Anderson. They worked together, they played hockey together. And Anderson loved to show pictures of his 18-month-old son.
Sears says they also played together in the team that performs at memorials for officers killed in the line of duty.
“It’s a little more difficult today, since he was part of the team,” Sears said at a press conference Thursday.
Anderson was patrolling in East Nashville early Thursday when a 17-year-old driving without a license struck his marked police car. After the vehicle hit a utility pole and caught fire, the officer died at the scene.
By all accounts, Officer John Anderson loved his job. Commander Gordon Howey of the Central Precinct wiped tears from his eyes at a press conference Thursday as he described the dedicated officer who he said treated everyone with the utmost respect and professionalism.
“He unfortunately died doing what he loved to do," Howey said at the press conference. Then he paused to catch his breath. "I spoke with both of his parents, and they echo that exact same sentiment.”
Sears says the Drill and Ceremony Team often prepares for moments like these. But he didn’t expect they would have to play at the funeral of one of their own.
Samantha Max is a Report for America corps member.