Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sergeant Ricky Dale Coyle

Greene County Sheriff's Office, Tennessee

End of Watch Monday, September 25, 1995

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Reflections for Sergeant Ricky Dale Coyle

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.


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.


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.


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

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