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

Dear Craig:

Five years ago I never imagined I would be writing this. I never imagined you would be looking down upon us from the great heaven above. I know your looking out for all of us, but know that you are missed down here on earth. Time marches on, but we will never forget you and the service you did for our county, our state, and the people in the world.

Thank you Craig. God bless you and those you left behind. God bless you Beth.



May 28, 2004

As the clock turns just past midnight I cannot believe that it has been 5 years since you left us Craig. You have not & will not be forgotten by anyone.

We have lost many "in blue" since that time, all of you, brothers & sisters above, looking out for those of us left behind.

You are all missed and your sacrifice WILL NOT BE FORGOTTEN.

Former Dispatcher
Chesterfield County Police

May 27, 2004


As we prepare to honor another fallen brother from our department, my thoughts are drawn to that fateful day when we lost you. You are deeply missed by all of us and we will never forget the short time you spent with us. God bless you Craig, I know you are still watching over us.

Sergeant Clinton C. Schott
Chesterfield County Police Department

May 8, 2004

I can't believe that it had been over 4yrs since since that tragic day. Every so often I am able to get together with some of the guys from Hamlin and the stories always seem to come back to things we did, and someone always says "remember that time with Craiger". You were older than I was so you had to teach me the proper way to sip "Ol' Grandad" whiskey. Thanks for all the good times buddy. We all miss you. Keep us safe down here.

Tpr Michael Kleinhans

Trooper Michael Kleinhans
New York State Police

September 11, 2003

I never had the pleasure of meeting Craig but I felt the need to express this reflection.

Despite the fact that we never knew each other, as most police officers know, we are still brothers.

The Lord appoints those who he wants in authority.  It is also written in the Scriptures that there is no greater sacrifice than to give up one's life for others.

Craig, you were appointed to this position by God and you gave the ultimate sacrifice.  Your tour of duty is over but the work you accomplished will always be remembered.

God bless you.

Ptlm. M. J. Gray
Richmond Police Department

Dear Craig,

Over a year now has passed since you left us. I dont think a day goes by when we dont think of you, or feel you around us. I know God took you from us for a good reason, but however good the reason may be we all miss you so very much. I hope you know that your time with us on this earth was well spent and that you are someone who did and is still making Chesterfield and other places a better place to live. Thank you Craig for touching our lives the way you have and being and ANGEL among us. We shall never let you down.

We miss you and love you.

Roger C. Hinde, Esq.

God Bless Officer Rath and his loved ones. Thank you for making the Commonwealth a safer place.

College Student and Soon to be Law Enforcement Officer

Craig, you are missed tremendously by those who loved you and are thought of often. I always knew my responsibilities as a Dispatcher included my number one priority,and that was the safety and well being of my officers. Though I was not working the night you were taken from us, I felt the pain no just an excerpt from the feeling in my heart and mind on Sunday, May 30, 1999.

How could this happen

to one of our own.

All our thoughts, dreams & prayers

to the wind they were thrown.

Such a bright future ahead

and the promise of a good life

Taken from us all

in just one fateful night...

"Fly, fly little wing

far beyond imagining...

"Cross over to the other shore

there is peace forever more..

"Fly, fly do not fear

don't waste a breath

don't shed a tear

your heart is young

your soul is free, be on your way, don't wait for me"

Dispatcher M A Claytor, Unit 823
Chesterfield 911

As a dispatcher for Chesterfield & a volunteer for a local rescue squad for the last 10 years, I have seen many things. Although I was not working the night of Craig's accident, I was running squad and went to the call. Pain was felt by all. I may not have known Craig well, but as part of "the family" I've seen first hand how he touched many lives. May his joking ways, loving smile and boyish looks shine down from above and be remembered in our hearts forever!! We miss you

K.Gregg Unit #847
Chesterfield Emergency Communications

Craig was a wonderful person and police officer, his presence in my daily life is constantly missed. He was such a joy to work with and joke around with. Myself and the people who came in contact with Craig truley miss him. I can only hope that those people who had thier lives touched by this wonderful man named Craig can go on with thier lives knowing that he is an ANGEL among us and always looking out for us. From his family here at the law office of Roger Hinde we miss you Craig. Thanks for everything you gave us here on Earth and for what you are giving us now in Heaven. We miss you and we love you.

Your efforts will never go unnoticed or unappreciated. Thanks for everything you brought into our lives Craig.

Allison Burgess
Roger Hinde, Atty At Law

Craig was a fantastic person and will be missed by all.

NC State Bureau of Investigation

Craig was a special person to us all and he will be dearly missed. I especially will miss our time that we spent afield during the hunting season. The Chesterfield County Fraternal Order of Police are sponsoring a memorial Golf Tournament in Craigs name on Octobet 18 ,1999 at Birkdale Golf and Country Club in Chesterfield County Virginia. All procedes will go to the Make a Child Smile organization. This non-profit organization helps handicapped and disadvantage children by providing them with horseback riding lessons and the care of horses. Any one who may be interested in playing or making a donation in Craigs name please contact me by E-mail. thankyou and stay safe.

Sgt Kevin P.Carroll / Unit 86
Chesterfield County Police Dept.

Craig was a wonderful person who will always be in my thoughts and his family in my prayers.


I did not know Craig very well but I heard a lot of good things about him as a person and a Police Officer. My Department was sadden to hear of his death and was feeling a great loss as well, because our University is in Chesterfield County and our Department and Officers have such a good working relationship with Chesterfield Police.

God bless all of us that put our lives on the line everyday and to Officer Craig Rath you rest in peace, we will all miss you.

Patrol Officer
Va. State University Police

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Good night Craig, we'll see you in the Morning!

Officer T.C. Kifer

Colonial Heights Police Department

Booking Technician Christine D. Kifer

Chesterfield County Police Department

I was riding the night Officer Rath was killed Even though I had only met Craig only a few times it threw me into a shock that we had lost an officer. It was hard on me and many other officer's who I know who were working that night. It still hurts. We should all be proud to know that Craig made a difference in helping the people in Chesterfield County. To unit 206: You will be deeply missed and never forgotten.


I was fortunate to have worked with Craig, although very limited, he was still able to make a tremendous impact on my outlook on the profession. In a profession that increases in danger day in and day out there are but a few that can maintain a sense of humor. As all officers know our profession requires a great deal seriousness at times, but craig taught me to never pass up a moment to smile and have fun. I will always remember him for that first. He was a genuine person, and a great officer. My blessings go out to his wife with hopes that she will return to as normal a life as possible one day. -384

Patrol Officer
Chesterfield PD, VA

The condolences of the membership of the Virginia Crime Stoppers Association are extended to the family, loved ones and fellow officers of Officer Craig William Rath.

Virgina Crime Stopper Association

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.

Good night Craig. We'll see you in the morning !

Officer T.C. Kifer and Booking Technician C.D. Kifer

Colonial Heights Police Department and Chesterfield County Police Department

i work as a dispatcher in the area that officer craig william rath was killed-in fact i was working the night he was killed. its a tragic loss to the dept-he was never ever without a smile and a kind word no matter how many bad things he had seen or how difficult a case was..we will greatly miss his smile and all the wonderful things he did for our dept


As a former explorer scout with the Chesterfield Police Department I was greatly saddened by the news. Although I did not know Officer Rath, I understand the loss and questions as to "why". Our department lost an officer last October to a motor vehicle crash. I still want the why's to Chris' death. All of your brothers and sisters of the thin blue line will not forget the sacrifices you have made to those you served. Go with God, Craig!

Trooper R. D. Irons
Wyoming Highway Patrol

The funeral line was long,

There's an awful lot of cars,

Folks came out of the restaurants,

They came out of the bars.

The workers at the construction sites

All let their hammers drop.

Someone asked. "What is this all for?"

And they said, "Aw, just a cop."

Some chuckled at the passing cars.

Some shed a silent tear

Some people said, "It's stupid.

all these dumb policemen here."

"How come they're not out fightn' crime?

Or in a doughnut shop?

Sure is a lot of trouble,

For someone who's just a cop.

They blocked the intersections,

They blocked the interstate.

People yelled and cursed,

"Damn, it's gonna make me late!"

"This is really ridiculous!"

"They're makin' us all stop!"

"It seems they're sure wastin' time,

On someone who's just a cop."

Into the cemetery now,

The slow procession comes,

The woeful Taps are slowly played.

There's loud salutes from guns.

The graveyard workers shake their heads

"This service is a flop."

"There's lots of good words wasted,

On someone who's just a cop."

Yeah, just a cop to most folks.

Did his duty every day.

Tryin' to protect us,

Till they took his life away.

And when he got to heaven,

St. Peter put him at the top.

An angel asked him, "Who was that?"

And he said, "Aw, just a cop."

By Monty Richie

Oregon State Trooper

Chesterfield County Explorer Post 609

I served with Craig while in the 555th Military Police Co. I just recently learned of this tragic accident when I was looking for some old Army buddies. I was not in the same platoon as Craig but we had worked the road together on Ft. Lee VA. He was always professional and willing to lend a helping hand to anyone who needed it. I am so sorry for the families loss of a great Man and the Departents loss for a great Police Officer.

My thoughts and prayers are his family and friends.

Safety Officer Scott Baer
Hesser College Dept. of Safety

Craig and I were stationed together with the 555th Military Police Co, Ft Lee Va. Craig left the military about 6 months prior to my leaving so he could persue his career in law enforcement. When my wife and I heard about the accident over the news we just knew it couldnt be Craig. There isnt a day that goes by that I dont think about you Craig. Every year since the accident I have visited the police memorial in Washington DC. I stop where your name is engraved (62E 21) and remember the kind of solder and cop you were and hope that I can perform to the high standard you set. You served your country and your community, you walked the thin blue line brother. One day we will see each other again in heaven. Gob Bless you!

Lt James Eckenrode
Richmond Sheriff's Office

May 27, 2003 marked four years since we lost you. You and your family are very much a part of our daily thoughts and prayers. Your friendship and policework are greatly missed by your brothers and sisters in Chesterfield. Although we continue the watch here on earth we are comforted to know that we have you on patrol in heaven. Thank you for your service. You will never be forgotten!!!!!!

Sgt. WD Norris
Chesterfield County Police

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