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Pride, prayers and support

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By John G. Mattingly
Marion County Judge/Executive

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There is no way to make it right, you can't explain it, a senseless act of violence will change a community like no other event. The tragic death of Deputy Carl Anthony Rakes last week shocked the Marion County community to its very core. It is a shame that it takes a real tragedy to bring a community together. Marion County showed how much they can and do care about their fellow citizens, and especially those who seek to protect them on a daily basis.
I'm not naive, and I know this is not "Mayberry" - but we've always been a lot more like that small iconic town than west Louisville. We should be grieving with the family and supporting them. As Sheriff Jimmy Clements reiterated in his tribute to Deputy Rakes, he was a "good man." I feel confident that God takes care of good people. We also need to keep our prayers and support ongoing for family along with the Marion County Sheriff's Office and all of our EMS, rescue, emergency management, fire and other first responders. They are all our family, too. We are so blessed to have talented and caring people to watch over us.
It has been decades since a peace officer has been slain in the "line of duty" while serving in Marion County. It is my prayer and hope that there will never be another tragic, senseless act of violence, but unfortunately, like the support teams that came in said, "It is not if, but when." There have been other deaths from violence, and any senseless act of violence is truly a tragic and traumatic event. It is very unfortunate that any community has to endure tragic events like this. In the last week or two, we've had more than our fair share.
It was truly amazing to see the outpouring of support from our community and from all across the state. The Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board, mutual aid from neighboring counties, all branches of police, EMS, rescue and fire were flooding in to give comfort and support to our shocked and grieving community. The visitation and funeral services were attended by thousands of citizens, sheriffs, police and emergency response brothers from across the state.
It made me proud to observe the extreme respect, honor, reverence and decorum that Marion County and all visitors and guests showed at the funeral home, the Roby Dome and along the route to the graveside funeral service. They truly showed how much they can and do care. Anthony would have been so proud, too.
We need to think about how we go forward, and how we can show our continuing care, respect and support for those who serve and protect us. We need not wait for another tragedy to become a more caring and compassionate community - all the time. Let's all pray about it. Let's all work together to continue to make Marion County a great and better place to live, work, worship and pray, and raise a family.