DANVILLE, Ohio (WCMH)– A community continues to mourn the tragic death of Danville Police Officer Thomas Cottrell after he was found dead late Sunday night.
Flags are flying at half staff in Knox County. Danville’s Police Chief Dan Weckesser is speaking about his fallen officer for the first time.
He wanted to continue to focus on Tom’s positive legacy.
“Tom was a dedicated officer,” he said. “He always asked me if I needed help.”
The police chief wears a black stripe over his badge, symbolically remembering Cottrell.
“We are a small department, and shorthanded all the time,” Weckesser said. “Tom was always willing to come out any time I asked.”
Outside Danville’s municipal building, a memorial grows. There are signs, flowers, and personal notes.
“He was a very good officer,” the chief said. “The type of police officer you’d want working for you.”
Weckesser said Cottrell was also the type of officer any community wanted roaming the streets.
“If he knew something was going on in the community or observed something going on, he would take care of it whether he was on duty or not,” he remembered.
Cottrell, a father himself, had a way with children as well.
“A lot of the children liked him,” Weckesser explained. “He was kind of hard and stern. It’s what a lot of our children need.”
In fact, the chief said, parents appreciated him just as much.
“Several parents requested Tom to come talk to their children. He had a way of discussing things with them in a way they would understand.”
Fallen hero Thomas Cottrell was a Little League coach, a friendly officer, and most importantly a dad. As a small Ohio town emotionally remembers him, the law enforcement community across this country stands in solidarity.
“It’s a lot of support. It’s a tragedy,” an emotional Weckesser says.