MARION COUNTY, S.C. (WMBF) - The Marion County Sheriff’s Office held their first-ever “Blessing of the Badges” event on Wednesday. Dozens of patrol cars, fire trucks, and ambulances passed through a line of chaplains who prayed for their safety.
Victim Advocate Tammy Erwin said they’d seen other agencies hold similar events, so last year they decided they’d hold their own.
“But then COVID hit, so we didn’t go forward with it,” she said. “After having two line-of-duty deaths in the last 13 months for our own department, not to mention the other losses across the Pee Dee, we felt that it was time.”
It’s been just over a month since Cpl. Jonathan David Price was killed in a car crash. In December 2019, Corporal Michael Latu was killed after his patrol car struck a column at the Highway 501-76 overpass
Erwin said all first responders put themselves in harm’s way, and they wanted to make sure the officers, deputies, firefighters, and EMS personnel know they’re being watched over.
“Those dark nights, when we had our deaths and our loss those were the people that were there and so we believe they need as much prayer and coverage as we can possibly give,” she said.
Marion County Sheriff’s Office Chaplain Kevin Johnson said our first responders face many different dangers every single day.
“We’re here to bless them and support them and encourage them any way that we can. To let them know they have friends and we’re here to help them any way we can,” he said.