BLOUNT COUNTY, Ala. (WIAT) — On Saturday, a memorial ride was held for a beloved retired law enforcement officer that passed away in August due to COVID complications.
Funds raised at the ride were given to Harry (Buddy) Hutchinson’s family to help pay for medical and funeral expenses.
Family and friends tell CBS 42 that Buddy was a one-of-a-kind guy who devoted his life to serving and protecting his community.
Around 50 community members geared up to honor Sergeant Buddy Hutchinson who served 20 years with the Blount County Sheriff’s Office.
“He impacted a lot of lives not just in this department but in the community, you know he worked for us at the end of his career, he worked for Oneonta and Snead Police Department before he came here, and he just impacted so many lives,” said Sheriff Mark Moon.
Sheriff Moon says when he was a rookie in the force, Buddy was his mentor and helped shape him into the law enforcement officer he is today.
“How to do things the right way not just reports but how to talk to people, how to treat people, how to be polite and respectful to people and to not just throw people in jail and throwing them away, we’re actually supposed to be protectors and caregivers in our community and he taught me that,” said Sheriff Moon.
“These people down here were his brothers, they really were,” said Sherry Hutchinson, the wife of Buddy Hutchinson.
Sherry says the memorial ride was the perfect way to honor and recognize her husband as he had a love and passion for motorcycles.
“When he was home, he loved his Harley, he loved his bike, we used to have a group together the KC Cruisers and we raised money to help kids that didn’t have Christmas,” said Hutchinson.
As Sherry and her family adjust to this new chapter, she is able to lean on Buddy’s brothers and sisters in blue as they rally around her to make sure she is taken care of for years to come.
“COVID is considered a line of duty death. We got him on the officer down memorial page. We’re working with a federal program to help his wife as well with some federal funding,” said Sheriff Moon.
Sheriff Moon tells us the memorial ride for Buddy will be an annual ride each year to honor him and help support this family.