Richland County deputies remember their fallen in honor of National Police Week

Published: May. 15, 2023 at 5:30 PM EDT
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COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Richland County Sheriff’s Department (RCSD) held a memorial service to remember the lives lost in the line of duty over the year in honor of National Police Week.

They remembered eight fallen deputies along with a K9 at the department’s memorial garden off of Two Notch Road on Monday.

The families of fallen deputies were honored with the singing of the National Anthem, a prayer, and the reading of each of the deputies’ names.

Outside the department’s headquarters the garden honors these deputies year-round with plaques that bear the names of each fallen deputy.

Diane Rawl, whose son Ryan was a deputy who died in 2012 during military service in Afghanistan, explains why today’s service is so meaningful.

" I asked the sheriff, please don’t forget him, please don’t forget him and he has flown to that promise,” Rawl said. “He has done so many things, not just for my son, but as you see for all of these other deputies that have fallen and even the K-9 dog. They don’t forget. They remember us in many, many ways and honor us in many, many ways.”

The brother of Deputy Keith Cannon, Kevin Cannon, also told WIS it means a lot to his family.

“We appreciate Sheriff [Leon] Lott every year he sends Christmas cards,” Cannon said. “He lets us know every year on the anniversary of their passing that they’re not forgotten and to be invited up here for the memorial day means a lot to our family and to the other families too, I’m sure. It’s just nice to know that they’ll always be remembered.”

Others WIS spoke to simply asked Lott along with the community to never forget their loved one.

The garden is open to the public.

A local Eagle Scout recently donated a bench to the spot for visitors to sit and stay a while.

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