The City of Ludowici and the community of Long County gathered Sept. 15 to remember former Police Chief Frank McClelland Jr., on the second-year anniversary of his untimely death in the line of duty.
Still heavy with sorry on a loss she said stills feels new, McClelland’s widow Cindy mustered up enough courage to hold back the tears long enough to thank those in attendance.
“It doesn’t get any easier and I don’t know that it ever will,” she said of her loss. “He was such a great man. He was good to everybody and everybody loved him. I’m honored that they still remember him.”
On the evening of Sept. 15, 2018 McClelland and retired Army master sergeant Marvin Pope were allegedly struck and killed by Daniel Michael Toronto Hill while he attempted to evade police. McClelland was struck when he had exited his patrol car to stop traffic.
Hill remains in Liberty County Jail, with no bond.
“Today two years ago my life was changed forever,” Cindy said. “Today is the day that I lost the love of my life. I miss him so much and there are still times I have to tell myself he is gone because it just doesn’t seem real. A piece of my heart was torn out when I heard that he had been hit and that he had not survived it.”
McClelland said her husband died serving his community. She added that more should be done to stop violent protests that speak out against the men in blue.
“It makes me very mad that they can dishonor the men in blue,” she said. “Our police officers, our first responders. These cities are just letting these people tear these cities apart and it makes me pretty upset. My husband gave his life protecting our citizens in our town. And these other towns are just letting these folks tear it apart.”
But she was also quick to mention how the folks in her community respect the uniform and more importantly came out in large numbers to honor McClelland’s memory.
“It touches my heart, words can’t describe it,” she said. “I’m thankful to still have friends who hug and embrace me and show me how much they loved him and still love me. He is greatly missed by many people.”