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Funeral held for fallen deputy

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 10:43 PM CST
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INDEPENDENCE COUNTY, Ark. (KAIT) - Friends, family, and law enforcement agencies from all over the state gathered for the funeral of fallen Independence County Deputy Frank Ramirez, Jr.

Ramirez was killed in a car crash Thursday morning as he was answering a call.

Saline County Sheriff’s Lt. Wade Gilliam said the loss of Ramirez was a sting to the law enforcement community.

“It always hurts,” Gilliam said. “Unfortunately, this is something that I have to do regularly, and it never gets any easier.”

Lt. Gilliam is a state coordinator for Arkansas’s Sheriff’s Association, in addition to his position at the sheriff’s office.

He said every mile that each law enforcement officer has had to drive was to support Ramirez’s family as they mourn the loss of their loved one.

“It’s all about them it’s never about us,” he said.

Rodrigo Thomas, Ramirez’s cousin, is a firefighter, and he said the loss feels like a double edge sword in the position of being a first responder and a family member.

“It hit home for sure,” Thomas said.

Thomas viewed Ramirez as a brother, saying the two would always have a friendly competition about which first responder branch is better.

“He was so tough – between firemen and police,” he said. “We used to tease each other for that.”

Ramirez’s death has made Thomas realize that any day and any call can be his last, adding that he has always kept that in mind.

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