(WBIR - Scott County) Friday afternoon at the Scott County line, a steady stream of outside law enforcement rolled in to pay homage to a departed member of their professional family.
"We all come together in a time of loss. This is a significant loss the Scott County Sheriff's Department has suffered with the death of Sheriff Mike Cross," said Lt. Johnny McDonald with the Tennessee Highway Patrol. "An agency is hurting internally and it is your family."
Lt. McDonald wore a black and blue band on his badge to signify the remorse felt for his brethren in Scott County.
"You work together, sweat together, laughed with and cried with at times. It's a big family. That's the simplest way to put it in perspective is law enforcement is a big family," said McDonald.
In many respects, things in Scott County seemingly stopped for Cross's funeral as marquees across town noted the sheriff's death and schools let out a few hours early. Yet, the job of law enforcement never takes a break. Therefore, dozens of visiting agencies not only arrived to pay their respects, but also to offer a helping hand to allow Scott County deputies time to pause and pay respect to their departed sheriff.
"There are a lot of agencies here to help. They're offering traffic control, dispatch services, any assistance if they [Scott County] have calls for service. Anything basically that they need. The citizens can rest comfortably that the department is going to continue to do their job, just as the sheriff has directed them and would want them to do. There's just an outpouring of willingness to help from all agencies from one end of the state basically to the other. It's a brotherhood," said McDonald.
In life, Sheriff Mike Cross played a very active role in that brotherhood and came to the aid of other agencies. Cross spoke of that bond during an interview with WBIR in April 2013 as he assisted the Tennessee Highway Patrol during the funeral of respected patrolman Brian Boshears.
"In our profession, with all of the uncertainties that we have every day that we come to work, the one thing we know we have and can count on is each other. Because that's all we have out here is each other," said Cross.
In death, law enforcement followed that creed and came together in Scott County for Cross, his family, and each other.
"Times like this is what puts the important things in perspective," said McDonald.