Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Correctional Officer Richard Bert Fordham, Sr.

Lee County Sheriff's Office, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, May 9, 1977

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Reflections for Correctional Officer Richard Bert Fordham, Sr.

"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 7, 2008

Today would mark your 69th Birthday. Happy Birthday Dad. Its been a long year and there are still times that make all of your children wish you were still with us. We remain a strong and close family even as we all are beginning to reach middle age with children and grandchildren of our own.


August 22, 2006

I was glad to hear that parole has been denied for the individual who brought all this pain and suffering to your family that they have lived with for almost 30 years. I'm sure there has not been a day that has gone by that you have not been in their thoughts. Keep watch over them and protect them. You are a true hero and you will never be forgotten.

Bob Gordon, father of Fallen Chicago Officer
Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

Bob Gortdon, Asst. Chief, Retired
Riverside PD, IL

May 18, 2006

On this, the 29th anniversary of your death, you are remembered. Thank you for your service.

Michelle - wife of LEO

May 10, 2006

I'm currently reading an article in the Wall Street Journal on releasing terminally ill inmates back into society to live out the rest of their days. One of the convicts involved in your death is the focus of the article. He's 58 with throat cancer. He was 29 at the time of his incarceration for your death. I'm all for releasing some inmates, but not those convicted of violent or sexual crimes. It's unfortunate that he's dying of cancer, but it's more unfortunate that you were afforded the opportunity to die naturally. Rest in Peace.

Special Agent Darin L. Paul

September 29, 2005

CO Fordham every officer who has worked in a county jail knows too well the hazards that lurk there. You are not forgotten brother, rest in peace.

Deputy Ben Sleaford
Henry Co. Sheriff's Office

August 20, 2004

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