Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sergeant Ricky Dale Coyle

Greene County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Monday, September 25, 1995

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Sergeant Ricky Dale Coyle

Rest in peace Sergeant Coyle.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

September 13, 2019

I am Rick's sister, and I live in Morristown, TN, now.
Our mother passed away in Morristown in 2013.

Thank you for honoring my brother on this site.
I am our family's final survivor. I miss my family!

Lisa Coyle-Prichard
Sister

September 25, 2018

Rick,I was cleaning my old Model 59 S&W 9mm today and thought about you and how you always said to leave that gun to you in my will.You always made everyone laugh and you truly made everyone a better human being

Steve Rimmer
Deputy

February 3, 2018

Rick, i remember passing you not long before you were shot, you stuck your tongue out and smiled at me.

Donald Dean

January 9, 2018

Sgt. Coyle,
On today, the 22nd anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the USAF. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

R.I.P.
USBP

Anonymous
United States Border Patrol

September 25, 2017

You were killed, NO you were murdered on September 25, 1995. I was working day shift and at that time that was 7a.m.- 3p.m. It was a Monday that tragic day and I saw you at the department of transportation building that morning at about 9 a.m. because we were trading out patrol cars that day. you were going on with a bunch of silly stuff as usual and making me laugh. I remember you telling me that you had been working with the greene county sheriff's department for 16 years now and you were excited because you told me this was the first ever new patrol car that you had gotten. I did not realize this was the last time that I would ever talk to you again and see you alive. you drove off as I watched and then you went on duty at 3 p.m. that day and drove that new car for 5 hours and then was killed. I will never forget that call at 8 p.m. that night calling all off duty officers back to work. I could not believe when I heard that you had been shot and I had talked and joked with you only 11 hours earlier. I remember standing outside of the emergency room that night around midnight and hearing the news that you had passed away. I remember going to work the next day at 7 a.m. and thinking WOW nothing changes and the calls keep coming in.... REST IN PEACE RICK..YOU WERE ONE OF A KIND !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Lieutenant Terry L. Rader
Greene County Sheriff's Department

July 9, 2016

I will never forget Rick.His laugh and that little bounce in his walk he had. A smile that was truly genuine and a good friend. I had the pleasure of working with Rick and I thank GOD for giving me the priviledge to know him . He was one of the best people I've ever known and a great officer.

Sgt.Glenna Estepp
Greene county Sheriff dept.

September 25, 2012

I had lost touch with Rick after we had worked together at Illinois Yarn Co in Rochelle, Il, the other day something reminded me of Rick so I thought I would Google his name, I was shocked to read about his sensless death. Rick was a great guy, very funny and kind, My heart goes out to his family.

Pete Esterday
Old friend

September 23, 2012

I have fond memories of serving with R.D. in the USAF. He always made us laugh no matter how bad the situation was.rest in peace my brother. Remo Leoni Chicago Police Department.

PO Remo Leoni
Chicago Police Department

April 28, 2011

Rick was the very first person I met at the Greene County Sheriff's Dept. on 9-12-83, my first day at work. He was a dispatcher then. I will never forget how he smiled and laughed with me that day. He made me feel so much more at ease. Through the years, we became friends. We had a football rivalry: He loved the Chicago Bears and I loved the Dallas Cowboys. Every Mon. morning, if the Cowboys had won their game on Sunday, I'd get on the radio and simply say, "hey Rick. How 'bout them Cowboys?" When the Bears released a record called "The Super Bowl Shuffle" I had to buy a copy for Rick. Apparently he loved it because he told me often, "Rhonda, I've never taken the record out of the wrapper. It's still on my dresser just the way you gave it to me". Later, he gave me a gift that I will always cherish, a wool Cowboys hat that still hangs on my bedpost. After my daughter was born in 1990, he would always call me "mom". In fact, that was what he said to me the last day I saw him. He was getting in his patrol car a few days before he died. He saw me going into the Courthouse and he yelled, "MOM" as loud as he could and waved at me.
Rick, I miss you...we all do. You were one of a kind. I am blessed that I knew you.
And by the way Rick, "Bailey-ton" as you always said it, is "Belton" around here. (He always laughed at that)
I'll never forget you.

Rhonda Craft Youth Services Officer
Greene County Juvenile Court

July 16, 2009

RIP BROTHER. WE REMEMBER.

OFFICER
AND MEMBER OF WSCC CLASS 69

December 19, 2008

To Sgt. Ricky Coyle and his loved ones:

On this the thirteenth anniversary after your tragic death, please know that your memory is honored and revered today.

This world, this country, your community truly are better places because of you. To have lost you is a great tragedy, an irreplaceable, immeasurable loss for society. We are grateful for and to you, and honor you for all you did for us day in and day out whether you received a word of thanks or praise.

Rest in Peace, Sgt. Ricky Coyle. I am so humbled by your valor and courage.

This reflection is sent with the utmost respect for the distinquished service Ricky gave to his community and the citizens of Tennessee, and for the supreme sacrifice he and his family made on September 25, 1995.

Phyllis Loya, mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen Officer Larry Lasater

September 25, 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
Sergeant
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 29, 2008

Rick, it's been a long time since that afternoon that you left my office to go and work the wreck that ultimately led to your death. I've often wondered if you volunteered for that call because you felt danger and wanted to save another officer's life. I will never forget the last time we talked. You came into the office joking and laughing, like always, trying to make sure I was in a good mood! You always wanted everybody to be laughing with you and we were! You were watching over us that day and continue to watch over us now. We love and miss you, "you old sea dog you"!!

From a friend and co-worker
Lori Rader

Dispatch Lori Rader
Greene County Sheriff's Dept

January 22, 2008

I lost the best friend anyone could ever have. Cus your 54th birthday is coming up on Feb 8th. Happy Birthday in Heaven. Not a day goes by that you're not in my thoughts. I miss you dearly but I know you're still with me. Who loves ya...

Deb
Best Friend / Cousin

January 7, 2008

Thank you for your service, you are not forgotten. I want to think that you have been by my side on several nights when things were going bad, stopping me from getting hurt, watching my back. You were gone before I started with the Police Department, but you are not forgotten. Your spirit still lives within all of us in Greene County when we go on duty. God Bless You.

Patrolman Shane Matthews
Greeneville Police Department / WSCC Police Academy

August 7, 2007

Rest in peace brother and thank you for your service.

nc game warden

June 21, 2007

I NEVER KNEW YOU PERSONALY,BUT IV HERD MY FATHER TALK ABOUT WHAT A GOOD FRIEND AND OFFICER YOU WERE.I KNOW YOU ARE STILL WATCHING OVER YOUR FELLOW OFFICER AND STEERING US AWAY FROM DANGER.

PTL NAKIA TWEED
GREENE COUNTY SO

December 4, 2006

I never knew you, but i have heard alot of stories about how wonderful you were... REST IN PEACE..

A. Elswick

October 1, 2006

It has been 11 years and you have not been forgotten as you are a true hero and heroes never die. Keep watch over your loved ones and protect them from harm. I know you are in their thoughts every day and will for as long as they walk this earth.

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

Bob Gordon, Gold Star Father

September 25, 2006

Thank you and rest in peace!


The Lord is my shephard,I shall not want. His comforting hand reduces fear to naught. He makes me walk through streets of crime,but He gives me courage and peace of mind.


He leads by still waters,in the path I trod. And He says in Romans,I am a "Minister of GOD." He leads in righteousness as He restores my soul. For his name sake He keeps me whole.


When I walk through deaths valley,right up to the door,I will fear no evil,for He comforts me more. For Thou art with me,every step of the way,As Thy rod and Thy staff protect me each day.


He prepares a table,especially for me,As I work daily among life's enemies; He gives me authority to uphold the law,And He anoints my position in the midst of it all.


Surely. Goodness,and Mercy shall follow me,each day of my life through eternity; As I long to hear Him say,"WELL DONE",when i lay down my life,my badge,and my gun.





PATROLMAN WILLIAM CHRISTY
GREENE COUNTY SHERIFFS OFFICE

March 13, 2006

Thanks to all who have honored my brother. His memory is in my heart and can now be shared with the rest of the world.

(sister) Lisa G. Coyle

February 25, 2006

Your bravery is of the highest order, you are a Hero, and you will never be forgotten.

Retired police officer.

July 23, 2004

About 100 people gathered, despite light rainfall, on Wednesday morning outside the Greene County Courthouse to remember Sheriff’s Sgt. Rick Coyle, who was killed in the line of duty seven years earlier.

Coyle, a popular 16-year veteran of the Greene County Sheriff’s Department, was fatally wounded in an exchange of gunfire with a fugitive from Alabama outside an isolated mobile home on the evening of Sept. 25, 1995. The suspect also died.

The heavens themselves seemed to weep during the moving 10 a.m. ceremony. As it began, stone-faced Greene County and Greeneville law enforcement officers stood in a semicircle with other spectators in front of the courthouse as a gentle rain fell.

Coyle’s mother, June Kinser, and sister, Lisa Coyle, guests of honor for the ceremony, sat in folding chairs facing the impromptu speakers’ platform on the courthouse steps.

Mrs. Kinser was escorted during the ceremony by Sheriff’s Sgt. Charles Morelock. Sheriff’s Department personnel attempted to shield Kinser and her daughter from the rain with umbrellas.

The service, which opened with a brief welcome message delivered by Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Ralph Roderick, included remarks from County Executive Roger Jones, County Sheriff Steve Burns and Assistant District Attorney Cecil C. Mills Jr., who also is an ordained minister.

It also included the presentation of the colors by the color guard from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 1990, a prayer offered by Sheriff’s Detective Sgt. Jeff Morgan, the singing of “Walk On” by Russ Crum, the presentation of a memorial wreath that bore Coyle’s name and radio call sign, “531," and the playing of “taps” by trumpeter Derek Metcalf.

Perhaps the most moving moment came when Sheriff Burns, accompanied by Deputy Sheriff Wesley Holt, presented a bouquet of red roses to the slain officer’s mother.

Sacrifice Recalled

In his opening remarks, Roderick spoke of the ultimate sacrifice made by Coyle and other officers.

“Memories of Sept. 11, 2001, and the heroes of that day remind us of the sacrifices our own have made,” Roderick told the audience in an emotion-tinged voice. “In the seven years that Rick has been gone, he’s lived with us each day. We’ve joked and laughed about the good times he always brought our way. Our brother is gone but he lives on. His memories won’t diminish. We’ll stay the course and do the job he left for us to finish,” Roderick said.

County Executive Comments

County Executive Roger Jones then told those present, “As long as we keep Rick in our hearts and minds, he will never go away.”

He said that the tragedy of Sept. 11, 2001, had shown how quickly a situation can change, adding that Americans tend to forget law-enforcement and emergency personnel until disaster strikes.

“It seems like in a lot of cases we take our law enforcement officers, our firefighters and our emergency personnel for granted until we need them,” he said. “Then they become the most important people in the world.

“I challenge you to not forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice. Rick Coyle not only gave his life . . . he became a patriot, not just a deputy. He is a person we will always remember. When we think of him in future services, it should make us proud that we have people out there who are sacrificing and who are willing to put their lives on the line so that we all can remain safe.

“That’s what the Stars and Stripes represent. That’s what America is all about. Let us be proud of who we are. Let us be proud of where we have been. But above all, with the good Lord’s help, let us be proud of where we are going.”

Sheriff Recalls Friend

Next, Sheriff Burns said, “Rick (Coyle) paid the ultimate price while protecting the citizens of Greene County. His passing should be no less remembered, or (considered) no less important, than those who died on Sept. 11, 2001.

“Rick was one of a kind. He was truly a friend to me, as he was to everyone who knew him. Each year at this time we are reminded of our sadness, but we also should be reminded of the joy that knowing Rick Coyle brought to our lives.

“If Rick was here today, he would say, ‘What’s all the fuss?’ Well, Rick, all the fuss is for you. Our lives have changed since that day in 1995, but we are all blessed because during our lives a man like Rick Coyle came our way.”

Mills Says ‘Evil Did Not Win’

“Splendid recollections come to us of voice, of a laugh, of a character,” Mills said. “Rick Coyle was a friend of mine. He was a friend of many. But it occurred to me that the real event occurring here today is not of the death and the remembrance of a farewell said seven years ago.

“This, today, is a celebration of life beyond life. Let us first say without any hesitation that we did what Rick would have wanted us to do. We moved on.

“Robert Frost (the famous poet) said at his 80th birthday celebration that the most important thing he had learned in life is just three words: ‘life goes on.’ “While I would disagree with the priority he gave it, the law enforcement community of this county has faced that reality.

“Evil did not win despite the tragic loss of Rick Coyle and the stark reality of putting on the uniform; putting on the badge and going to work; walking up to cars when you don’t don’t know what is facing you behind those windows; and walking up to the doors of homes, not knowing what might be behind them or what the persons behind them might have.

“Today is a celebration that evil did not win. No, not because Rick Coyle was replaced, because no one could replace Rick Coyle. But others stepped up to fill the gap,” Mills said.

He continued, “The law enforcement community, which one person said was the last strand of wire between the foxes and the chickens, has proven that it will not be intimidated from doing its work. It will not hide in fear, but will provide security to citizens.”

Mills said of Coyle, “Nothing can bring him back, but nothing will ever erase him from our memories for the way he lived and the way he died.”

This was a published article in the Greeneville Sun Newspaper from a memorial for Rick.

PTL A. DOTSON
GPD

Sometimes I wonder if you or another fallen Officer has looked down, grabbed my hand, and pulled me clear of danger. I look at some of the situations that I have encountered and I realize that my angel was there.


THANKS

Patrolman Alan Dotson
Greeneville Police Dept. / Walters State Basic Recruit Police Academy

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.