NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – “A hero remembered never dies.”
That is how co-workers and friends of Metro Nashville Police Officer John Anderson remember him more than five months after his passing.
He is the first officer to die in the line of duty serving the Central Precinct community. His presence in the roll call room where he started his workday is palpable — from the seat representing him to the artwork honoring him.
“Hero is one of those words and terms that can be hard to describe sometimes,” said Commander Gordon Howey. “But John was one of these people that no matter what, no matter the adversity and it can be something very small or very large, he always responded almost without any thought or hesitation. This is my duty, this is what I need to do.”
Officer Kelsey Bell said Anderson took his job very seriously, “The night before he passed, I actually got a crash, a motor vehicle accident over on Cowan Street that happened in my zone and it was my call. He actually got there with me and was helping take the gentleman out of the van that flipped over. He sprang into action just like he normally does, was busting the glass helping pull the guy out. And that wasn’t the only time he’d done something like that. He’s always been like that you know, day in and day out. Just a go-getter, wanting to help, dependable. If you called him, he came.”
Officer Anderson learned to play the bagpipes and was part of the Metropolitan Nashville Police Drill and Ceremony Team which honors fallen officers. Commander Howey said it was something that was personal for John, “[It was] something that he really wanted to be able to do, and probably at its core, was this idea of making sure that the family that’s left behind, the friends that are left behind knew and understood the respect that was given to their fallen loved one.”
Officer Anderson was also a family man. “He really cared for his son Gavin. He had a girlfriend that also had a kid when they got together. He stepped in and was a father figure for him,” said Officer Bell.
While it’s been months since Officer Anderson’s passing the remembrances for Officer Anderson’s family, continue to arrive.
“[People] just feel a sense of duty in order to try to help,” said Howey.
“A hero remembered never dies so he’s still here with us, not physically, but spiritually,” said Bell.
So, we posthumously honor Metro Nashville Police Officer John Anderson for his dedication to the citizens he served in Nashville and the unwavering support he offered friends, family and those he honored through the Metropolitan Nashville Police Drill and Ceremony Team.
Once a month News 2, will highlight a public servant who goes above and beyond the call of duty.