Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Craig William Rath

Chesterfield County Police Department, Virginia

End of Watch Thursday, May 27, 1999

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer Craig William Rath

I awoke this morning recognizing the date was January 14.

Happy Birthday Craig. You are still missed and thought of often by me.

To Craig's family and Beth, Craig is always in my heart and on my mind. I have shared the story of his passing with many people and the wonderful person that he was and what a wonderful family that I came to know and love since spending time with all of them in Hamlin, NY June 1999 for Craig's memorial service there. I was so very honored to have been asked by the family to share my poem that I wrote about Craig at the service. I will ALWAYS cherish those memories.

God Bless You All.

Michael Anne Claytor
Former Dispatcher Chesterfield County PD VA

January 14, 2009

I make a point to come by ODMP a few times a week to leave a note of reflection for one of our fallen officers. Today I read your's, Officer Rath.

It's really rare that you do read such touching, very personal messages. You really sound like a tremendous man. To the family of Officer Rath I am sorry for your loss. Although years pass, you are not forgotten sir.

Philadelphia, PA

January 7, 2009

Always Remembered, Brother.


October 23, 2008

27 May 2008--Craig, I am late getting this posted. I cannot believe it has been 9 years already. You are still thought of and missed everday by those that love you and your fellow brothers & sisters in Law Enforcement. It is such a comfort knowing we have a special Guardian Angel on our side looking out for us all. The heavens shine brighter with your presence.

Former Dispatcher/Chesterfield PD

June 1, 2008

Nine long years are still missed by your family, friends, brothers and sisters in arms, and your commmunity. Rest well, Craig.

Cpl Tim Nazzaro & Narcotics K-9 Coco
Orange County (FL) Sheriff's Office

May 30, 2008

I hear your name at HQ often. You are still remembered and missed. God bless you brother.

Chesterfield County Police

May 29, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1993 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

April 2, 2008


I just recently became aware of your untimely death. I have been in contact with your brother Carl. He is coming to our annual WNY COPS Candle Light Memories Vigil. Now that we know you, we are going to be recognizing you at our Vigil as well. Just know, that we will be there for your family.

Ellen Guerdat
Gates Polce Department Victim Assistance
VP Western New York Concerns of Police Survivors

Ellen Guerdat
Gates Police Department

December 2, 2007

Well, I cant beleive its been over 8 since we lost you. Every now and then I return to see what others have written and it never suprises me the amount of responses you have received as well as the locations from which they come from. You truly are missed and loved by all.

Public Safety Officer Scott Baer
Southern NH University Dept. of Public Safety

September 1, 2007

Craig, it's been 8 years since we lost you, yet it seems like only yesterday. I made you a promise the day of your funeral and I kept that promise. You had all the best qualities a person and an officer could have,and you were kind. Your family was so proud of you.I am a better person for having known you.

Dana Gay, Esquire

May 29, 2007

Craig -

It still seems a bit surreal to think not only was someone as knowledgeable and dedicated as you could be taken from us so tragically, but that it has been a full 8 years since that terrible day. Since taking on this line of work, Memorial Day has always meant something a little different...since 1999, Memorial Day has become a bit more personal.

You are never forgotten, my friend. You have meant too much to too many to ever allow your legacy to fall by the wayside. Rest easy, and enjoy the rewards of a true hero in His arms.

Cpl Tim Nazzaro & Narcotics K-9 Coco
Orange County (FL) Sheriff's Office

May 28, 2007

Officer Rath,

Although I never had the opportunity to meet you, I have heard lots of great things about you and your wife. In fact I wasn't in sworn Law Enforcement when you were taken from us in '99. I first learned about you through Officer Memorial week, and later from talking to some of the guys with Chesterfield Police.

Thank you for your dedication and service to the Citizens of the Commonwealth and the County of Chesterfield. You Brother! will NEVER ever be forgotten. May you continue to rest in eternal peace.

Senior Officer D. W. Reichhardt
Waverly, Va. PD

May 27, 2007

G-d Bless

May 27, 2007

Always remembered......

Chesterfield Co. Police Dept.

April 10, 2007

It's been almost a year since I left a post for you...another long year where your absence has been felt. The last few months have been especially tough - I buried another friend from my own agency as well as attending several LEO funerals in Central Florida.

A lot of things have changed since you left us, yet a lot of things seem the same. Two things that have not - and will not - change are my memories from our youth and the knowledge that Chesterfield is a better place to live because of your contributions. I know your agency is proud to have had such a faithful servant...and I am proud to have called you friend. Rest in peace Craig.

DFC Tim Nazzaro & Narcotics K-9 Coco
Orange County (FL) Sheriff's Office

October 21, 2006

I will bet Grandpa Carter is beaming with pride. What a wonderful tribute to a GREAT kid.
Aunt Lori

Lori Johnson

September 28, 2006

I came across this web site by complete accident, but realized I knew one of officer Rath's close friends (Donald Wilmoth)Don always talked highly of his friend and I was saddened by the loss of any officer, I hope God will continue to bless his family and friends.


July 28, 2006

I never had the honor, or priviledge, of meeting Craig, however if it is true that how he is remembered is an indication of the kind of man he was, Crag was a good man. RIP brother, keep heaven safe for us.

Chesterfield County PD

June 2, 2006

Thinking about you today brother. How blessed we are to have had you in the department.

Chesterfield County Police Department

May 27, 2006

Craig was not only a wonderful person he was also a dedicated and skilled police officer, as well as, a beloved husband to Beth, who worked in records with me. He truly cared about the citizens of Chesterfield County and his brothers and sisters in "green". Craig brought honor to not only the Chesterfield Police Department but to everyone who wears the badge.

Tomorrow will mark the sixth anniversary of Craig's death. I was working the night Craig was taken from us and it is an experience I'll never forget. I still have nightmares and hear those awful words on the radio, "Officer down, Officer down!" The deep feeling of grief at the loss of one so dear is difficult to put into words and is still fresh in our hearts today.

Craig and Beth will always hold a special place in my heart and I will never forget them or the special love and dedication to one another they shared. I miss you Craig and am proud to have known you.

Stephanie (former records specialist CCPD)

Stephanie Williams, former CCPD employee
Front Royal PD, VA dispatcher

May 26, 2006

Thank you for your service and dedication to this job and your country. Continue to rest in peace, God bless.

Police Officer K.J Flynn u-455
Chesterfeild County PD

May 15, 2006

As we lay to rest another officer from our department, my thoughts are drawn back to the day we lost you. You are sadly missed by all of us and will always be in our thoughts and prayers. Rest in peace brother.

Sergeant Clinton Schott
Chesterfield County Police Department

May 11, 2006

Craig -

I re-visit this site often to pay my respects as well as remember friends. As I look through this site again I am reminded of how blessed we truly are in our lives. Six years ago the citizens of Chesterfield County were blessed to have you watching over them, and now we are all blessed to have you watching over us. Our lives have taken strange turns since that awful day - new experiences and challenges present themselves daily. Through it all, these things remain the same...those who loved you still love you, and your presence is sorely missed. Until we meet again...

DFC Tim Nazzaro & Narcotics K-9 Coco
Orange County (FL) Sheriff's Office

November 27, 2005


I went to elementary school with you from kindergarden to grade 6.I will always remember you as a great friend!


Rodney D. Weitz

October 12, 2005

Thinking of you today. Your are missed in our department. May God continue to bless your family and friends. Thank you for your service.

Chesterfield County Police Department

May 27, 2005

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