Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Lieutenant James Ronnie Woodard, Sr.

Metro Nashville Police Department, Tennessee

End of Watch Wednesday, October 9, 1991

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Lieutenant James Ronnie Woodard, Sr.

Rest in peace Lt. Woodard.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

May 15, 2021

Ronnie treated me like his daughter...he was always a part of my life for as long as I could remember. Ronnie was that good man that did good things everywhere he went, a man that is missed by SO many!!

Terri Harris

October 9, 2019

RIP, Lieutenant James R. Woodard will never ever be forgotten. Thanks for your service to your community.

First Sergeant Thomas Webb, Retired.
New York State Police

July 10, 2019

Ronnie & my Dad were friends before Ronnie joined the force. I know he did some ride-alongs with my Dad, & shortly after he graduated from the Academy, he was partnered with my Dad. I was about 7, and had a bad accident at home, & needed to go to the ER asap. My Mom called Dispatch, & Daddy & Ronnie were suddenly there. I can remember Ronnie talking to me as Daddy carried me to the car, saying "Santana, you are going to be fine, baby." That was his nickname for me. After the wreck, we went to see him, & my brother was too young to go in. Ronnie was on the ground floor of the old Donelson hospital, & even though his jaws were wired shut, got through to us to bring him in through the window. He wanted one of my Mom's chocolate pies. She asked how he was going to eat it, & he said just bring it, I will suck it through a straw. My parents loved Ronnie dearly, & so did I. He was so handsome, & I know he was the same kind of cop as my Dad, a little rough around the edges sometimes, but would do anything to help people who needed it. He always made me feel special, & loved. I was at work when I found out what had happened, my first job after college. My Mom called me at work, which was unusual, and when she told me what had happened, I had to sit down. I couldn't believe it. My Dad never really got over it. He & Ronnie were like peas in a pod, Daddy had Corvettes, too, & loved to ride bikes. When they were building Briley Pkwy, he & Ronnie used to see who could ride a wheelie the longest. I know you two are together now, just know that you touched my heart forever. Love, Santana

Suzzann Behaylo
Daughter of Ret. Sgt. John Behaylo

August 6, 2017

missing you still, loving you always.

someone who loves him still

October 9, 2016

I remember Ronnie from 1978, when he had his motorcycle wreck in the line of duty. I was a nurse on duty at Donelson Hospital when he was brought into the ER. His heart stopped once there, but the doctors were able to bring him back. He eventually came to my floor-1 East. So many officers came to see him while he was there, I had to eventually run them out, as Ronnie would sit up in bed, two black eyes and severe injuries, pretending like he was alright. My father, Sgt. Jimmy Goodrich (now deceased) knew Ronnie well. I got to know this man and we became friends. He and my best friend, RN Cherie DePue, married later. He was a special man and officer and great friend to all. He is sorely missed. RIP, Lt. You have earned it. With much love.

Suzie Goodrich Warner, EMT, CNA

January 26, 2016

While sitting in dispatch, my partner shared your story of courage and dedication. May you rest in peace.

Kristy//Communications Officer
Goodlettsville Police Department

August 17, 2015



January 29, 2015

still missing you, still loving you

someone from the past

October 9, 2014

Rest In Peace Lt. Thank you for your service. You are not forgotten!

Ofc. D. Abbott
Metro Nashville Police Dept.

October 9, 2014

You selflessly sacrificed your life while defending the citizens of Nashville. We thank & honor you for walking the warrior's path. Your Memorial Page has been posted on numerous MNPD Social Media sites in remembrance of your heroism. You Are Not Forgotten.

Retired Sgt. Vernon Teague
Metro/Nashville P.D.

October 9, 2014

"Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Marshal Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

May 10, 2014

LT. I miss you and think of you often. You were one of the first to befriend me and take me under you wing. I have retired now and I'm living the good life.

POII Phil Shuler (retired)
Metro Nashville Police Dept. (TN)

October 9, 2013

Gone, but not forgotten.

Sgt. T. J. Jones
Greater Cleveland Transit Police Department, Ohio

October 9, 2012

Met Ronnie several years ago on a visit to Nashville, will never forget him on that motorcycle when I met him. Being a Police Officer from Chicago we hit it off right away. He will always be missed and in my prayers, Thanks Ronnie.

P.O. Jim Riley
Chicago Police Dept. O'Hare

September 28, 2012

Lt. I think of you often, and miss working with you. I'm still here doing the best that I can. You wouldn't recognize this department today.

DUI Officer Phil Shuler
Metro Bashville Police Dept.

January 8, 2012

I am the step-grandson of Lt. Woodard, or as I called him, grandpa Ronnie. My memories of him, although vague, still warm my heart to think of him. I just hate how all I have left of him are his badge, razor, lieutenant bars, and a few photos. I remember when he would toss me in the air and when he bought a little go-kart for me. I remember playing in his squad car, turning all the lights and sirens on and how cool I thought that was. But most of all, I remember that he loved me more than a grandfather should probably love his grandson. So to my grandfather, your memory burns brighter in my heart than any star in space and I can not wait to see you again one day! I truly love and miss you grandpa Ronnie!

2LT Mark Walker
Grandson, US Army

December 30, 2011

I always looked up to Ronnie. He was my Hero. Ronnie is the reason I became a State Trooper. I miss you man, but we will met again.

Trooper Danny Woodard--Retired
Tenn. Highway Patrol--First Cousin

May 17, 2011

Ronnie was 2 years older than me. He was always looking out for me. I have missed you Ronnie and one day i will be there too with you , mama and daddy! we were all so proud of you!

patsy woodard Ballard

May 16, 2011

My name is Janet and I used to work for the Comm Center there in Nashville. I ran across this article I had written in memory of Ronnie, and wanted to share it here as well.

Remembering Ronnie Woodard

October 9, 1991.

None of us can forget what transpired on that tragic Wednesday morning. We can still see the news footage. We can still hear those last radio transimissions. We can still feel the pain that we felt when the reality of it all set in.

And we wonder: has it really been a year?

We can hear that first line of The Policeman's Hymn as it was sung so beautifully that day in the church.

"A policeman gave his life today..."

We can see the procession of police cars that stretched for miles as they rode from the church to the cemetery. We can see hundreds of officers standing at attention with tears rolling down their faces as the sounds of Taps followed by shotgun blasts echoed in the distance.

We were left with unanswered questions and our own feeble ays of trying to say good-bye to a man who was loved by everyone. We wondered how it could happen to him? Why did he have to spot that stolen car? Why does a criminal live and a hero die? Why couldn't we have done something to prevent it?

But that is part of the mystery of death. For those left behind, those answers may never come.

When we think of him now, we remember a man who loved his job with all his heart. He was always giving more than taking. He showed the perfect balance of intensity and compassion that it takes to be a good police officer. We treasure the sense of loyalty he gave to his freinds. We remember the overwhelming generosity he displayed to everyone he met. And once again, the tears fall.

We didn't want to let him go. We want to see him walk through the door again with that twinkle in his eye. We want ot hear his voice come over the radio like nothing had ever changed. We want him know that he made a differnece here, and that even though a year has passed, we still think about him every day.

But, because we never had a choice but to keep doing our jobs, life within the police department has gone on. There have been more emergency calls for service, more reports have been completed, more fights were broken up, and more criminals to apprehend. There have even been more suspects caught in stolen cars. The cycle never stops.

We accept the fact that there are some things in life we just don't understand. Death is one of them,. We find a wya to move on like nothing had ever changed, but inside we know that without Ronnie Woodard, our lives will never be the same.

So, remember the smiles, the funny stories he would tell, his words of wisdom, and the gifts he gave others. From him, we learned to enjoy life to the fullest, to say "I love you" more often, and to trust that every person had some good in them. He taught us how to believe in people, even when it didn't make sense to do so.

Thanks, Ronnie. We promise we won't forget.

Now, a year later, our thoughts are with his family and those closest to him because we know that the pain we still feel is magnified a thousand times for them.

And our prayers are with all police officers and their families because we were tragically reminded about five o'clock on that Wednesday morning that the dangers of the job are guaranteed.

Tomorrow, however, is not.

Janet Morris Grimes

October 7, 2009

Ronnie and I worked the old South A Detail. Wherever the term "police officer" exists in literature, there should be a photo of Ronnie next to the description. I never met a braver, tougher yet more compassionate police officer.

I've seen Ronnie take money from his pocket and give to families and individuals, and every Christmas he would be involved in distributing food and gifts to the needy. Ronnie could do it all. If Ronnie had a code to guide him, it would be "Everything for the innocent, and nothing for the guilty."

Ronnie was never undecided about any moral issue, and in dealing with people it was far more important to him to do the right thing, than to do things right. I never knew him to be wrong.

Some years later I moved onto the Identification section where I worked as a crime scene investigator. On the morning Ronnie was shot, the on-duty CSI's would not go to Vanderbilt ER because they knew he was dead. Instead, I received a callout page. I knew Ronnie was shot, but couldn't believe that he could be killed... such was the man. I walked into the ER expecting to talk with him about his turn of luck.

In shock, I took detailed photographs of Ronnie's five, .25 caliber wounds, and bagged and tagged his uniform and police gear. There was something I recovered but didn't turn into evidence, and later threw into the Cumberland River from atop the Police Memorial Bridge.

Ronnie's father came into the death room, and I couldn't bear to see and hear his grief. I had to function like a machine to do my job.

A while later, the suspect was also brought into the ER. He had been found after the sun came up, hiding in a vehicle near the shooting scene, and wounded by Ronnie's single return shot. The suspect was not shot "in the buttocks" as stated in the media, but through the belt loop over his left buttock. I processed the suspect for evidence including gunshot residue testing and collection of his clothing. He lived.

Some six hours later, I went back home and sat alone. It took three days before I could sleep again.

It's hard to believe that it's been 18 years ago. But for me, it will always be yesterday. Rest in piece, my friend... we'll meet again someday.


July 30, 2008

Although I never got to meet you.
I miss you.
Nana and Pawg still talk about you.
And Gina and Lee miss you.
You're shortcake says hi :)

Kaylee Foschino
Grandaughter of Ret. Lt. Fulton Hall

April 12, 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 © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

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

January 30, 2008

On the anniversary of your death we remember youand thank you Sir for your service.

Pat Van Den Berghe, Civiliann
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NHnv

October 9, 2007

Thanks to everyone that has left a reflection of Ronnie. He was a very "Unique" person. I think of Him Everyday, every time I see a Police Officer, everytime I see any one associated with Law Enforment. I have always been "Proud" of my Older Brother, and have always looked up to Him. A true "Hero"!! God Bless all you Police Officers for being there. Love and Miss You Ronnie!!

Steve Woodard

July 20, 2007

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