Parke County community miles from Terre Haute feels loss of fallen officer

Silence spoke volumes on the courthouse square in Rockville Sunday evening.

Posted: May 6, 2018 11:55 PM
Updated: May 7, 2018 11:09 AM

PARKE COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - Silence spoke volumes on the courthouse square in Rockville Sunday evening.

Dozens of Parke and Vermillion County residents joined hands and joined hearts to pay their respects to a fallen officer.

They are several miles from Terre Haute, but the loss is felt by everyone.

Natalie Cole and Billi McNeill are law enforcement wives.

Both of their husbands work for the Parke County Sheriff's office.

Both were moved by Sunday night's vigil.

The loss in the law enforcement community truly hit home for them.

"It's a scary time that we live in and to know that there's a day you might come home and he might not be there," said Natalie.

"We have children as well, so it's hard when they hear these things. They're constantly saying 'Don't go back to work. Find another job'. And that's what's hard for the officers we have cause we don't want them to go back," said Billi.

The group gathered to pray for Officer Rob Pitts' family and for all first responders.

Rockville Police Chief Randy Kneeland, along with the Independent Baptist Church of Montezuma organized the rally.

A small community coming together to show their support for Terre Haute. 

"We've worked with, trained with, and fellowshipped with those officers all over. And anytime we've needed help, Terre Haute police department's been there to help us. So we want them to know we're here with them too," said Kneeland.

In this time of grief, there was something that brought a smile to everyone.

A long chain of handshakes.

Thank you's to all the officers there on the courthouse lawn, from the residents they protect every day.

Both Natalie and Billie say they worry daily about their husbands.

One loss in the law enforcement family is a loss and heartbreak to them.

"We're here to support the law enforcement and support THPD and Officer Pitt's family. This is our worst nightmare come true," said Natalie.

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