NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — More than 300 community members gathered Saturday to honor retired Metro Nashville Police Chief Joe Casey as he was laid to rest.
Law enforcement agencies from across the area were in attendance as Casey received a ceremony marked with bagpipes and a 21-gun salute.
Brent Dorris recalled his grandfather’s commitment to law enforcement and serving others. Dorris was so inspired by his grandfather’s nearly 40-year career, he went on to serve the Tennessee Highway Patrol for part of his career.
“[He was] probably my biggest fan and I was probably his biggest fan,” Dorris recalled. “The funny thing was is he asked the mayor to be a fireman when he interviewed. And the mayor told him he could either be a policeman or he didn’t have a job. So he took the job of a policeman, and his career started that way. He just grew all through the ranks and treating people the right way, I think, and treating his officers the right way is what led him to the top. And he has a huge heart for law enforcement.” Dorris said.
Over the years, Chief Casey created the annual Metro Police Christmas Gift Basket program, which takes food and toys to those in need in Nashville. Casey was also credited with taking the Special Olympics Torch Run international. Now, officers from across the globe raise money for Special Olympics each year.
Dorris recalled the greatest lessons his grandfather leaves behind.
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“Love people for who they are, be merciful and kind to everyone, treat everybody with respect, and have a lot of discipline,” Dorris said.
Casey died on the morning of his 96th birthday.