RICHTON, MS (WDAM) - Richton Police Chief Jerry Gardner was laid to rest Monday morning. Law enforcement officers from several agencies in the Pine Belt were in attendance to honor Gardner and show support for his family.
The service was held at Jones and Son Funeral Home at 11 a.m. Gardner was interred at Dykes Chapel in Richton. Friends and family had the opportunity to pay their respects to the family and his wife, Johnnie.
Richton Mayor Michael Ruffin described Chief Gardner as loved and respected by all law enforcement. Gardner served in law enforcement for more than four decades and touched the lives of many within Perry County.
“A big, big loss for this whole community," Ruffin said. “Jerry was here at 5 a.m. and at least 6 or 7 o’clock at night.”
Family said Gardner was a member of Dykes Chapel Missionary Baptist Church. He spent 10 years with the Richton Police Department as Chief of Police and was a member of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police.
Perry County Sheriff Mitch Nobles said each officer and deputy who attended the ceremony wore a badge with a blue line across it in memory of Gardner. Nobles said Chief Gardner’s dedication reached beyond Perry County.
“He started his career at the Perry County Sheriffs Department, I believe, back in 1981," Nobles said. “Not only did Jerry devote his time to the city, but he did the whole county."
On March 28, the Perry County Sheriff’s Office posted that Gardner had passed away on their Facebook page saying:
After the news of his death, the community offered condolences and heartfelt wishes to the family including Mayor Bo Ruffin. He posted a message to the Town of Richton’s Facebook page describing Gardner as a devoted husband and family man.
Chief Jerry Gardner was 77 years old.