Hundreds of people from across the country came to celebrate the life of Sergeant Steve Hinkle at Sullivan Central High School Saturday morning.
Sgt. Hinkle passed away Tuesday after he was shot while responding to a welfare check at a home on 11W in Blountville.
Sgt. Hinkle served as a school resource officer in Sullivan Central High School before he was moved the patrol division sometime last year.
Hundreds of guests signed blue and black police flags to honor his memory.
It’s a loss that hits home for men and women on the front lines.
Lisa Prudenti with the Sullivan County Police Department in Long Island, New York traveled more than 500 miles to pay her respects to Sgt. Hinkle.
“Everyday we go out and we all hope we go home to our families,” Prudenti said.
She said she’s part of Brotherhood of the Fallen, an organization that travels to funerals of fallen officers.
“When we lose a member, we’re all family, whether it’s Johnson City, Tennessee, or it’s Long Island, New York,” Prudenti said.
Detective Jeff Prince with Aurora, Colorado Police Department said Sgt. Hinkle’s death hit hard.
“We all look forward to the day when we can retire and especially those that have been in this line of work for that many years, to be able to look back and its almost like ‘I survived, I made it,’ and to be so close to retirement, assuming that he was,” Prince said. “But its also one of those reminders that that moment could come at any time.”