Many in Johnston are still in grief from the loss of a police officer. Corporal Eric Chapman died in a car crash on December 8 while responding to an emergency call. FOX54 spoke with members of the community who say Corporal Chapman will be missed.
Johnston Police Department consisted of eight officers who had a family bond but now their hearts are broken. Corporal Eric Chapman was a marine, husband, father, son, and friend. Those close to him describe him as a man with a unique personality and a sense of humor that could make anyone around laugh. Chief Lamaz Robinson of the Johnston Police Department says above all Corporal Chapman's passion for his job was great; he loved protecting others. "I know without a shadow of a drop that Eric loved what he did as an law enforcement officer. And there are plenty of times we have been put in short staff situations and there was no problem with him coming out to cover shifts"
Just last March he made supervisor. Corporal Chapman work ethic never went unnoticed and it was easy to see how much he loved Johnston and the people in it.
"I don't think a lot of people realize sometimes how much a law enforcement officer risk their lives. You never know what's going to happen on a traffic stop you never know what's going to happen on any encounter so you have to be a brave person to take those risk.", saysChief Robinson.
The Police Department has received an overwhelming response of sympathy and support; calls, text, emails and folks just simply stopping by. Local store owner Kathy Holmes says she is heartbroken for the police department and the family "It is more painful to know that he was in the line of duty when he was called. Our hearts and prayers are with them. Anytime we can be of service let us know."
Chief Robinson says the community will get through this together and will remember Officer Chapman as a Johnston hero. Officer Eric Chapman's family will welcome visitors Dec. 12 from 6 p.m.- 8 p.m. at the Ramey Funeral Home in Saluda, SC. Funeral services will be Dec. 13 at Saluda Church of God in Saluda, South Carolina and the burial at Ridge Spring Memorial Gardens in Ridge Spring, SC. Funeral services are open to the public.