In Memory of Corrections Officer Vassar Richmond
On Monday, October 4, 2021, the Bartlett Police Department in Tennessee began to mourn the loss of one of its officers. Corrections Officer Vassar Richmond, badge VR649, died due to complications of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. COVID19 has become the number one cause of line of duty deaths for all officers in the US. Richmond is 62 years old.
At the start of the pandemic, we learned that certain occupations carried a much higher risk for transmission of the virus. For example, law enforcement has been hit significantly hard as their job puts them in contact with many people each day and does not allow for social distancing. In law enforcement, the number of corrections officers lost to the virus has been devastating.
Officers who work in corrections face much more significant risks. The jails, prisons, and other institutions were designed to hold many people in small, confined areas. There is no ability to socially distance, and these facilities do not have the air cleaning systems required to keep the virus minimal in the buildings. Yet, officers like Richmond went to work every day, knowing the risk to their own lives and the lives of their families was great.
Corrections Officer Richmond had served at the Bartlett Police Department for three years. Most likely, he contracted the virus during his duties at the prison. Previously, Richmond had served with the Tennessee Department of Correction. He was a DOC officer for about five years. Before joining up with the Tennessee Doc, Richmond served with the Federal Bureau of Prisons for over 30 years. Total, Richmond had over 38 years in law enforcement.
Bartlett Police Department, Tennessee
Richmond served with the Bartlett Police Department in Tennessee. An unusual service that the Bartlett Police Department is very proud of is the community’s interest in their work. The agency is thrilled to give residents a tour of their facilities. Over the years, hundreds have come to take a tour of the station. In light of the pandemic, the Bartlett Police Department posted a virtual tour on their website.
BPD is responsible for the city of Bartlett, Tennessee. Its stated mission included being partners with the residents in their jurisdiction. The mission statement posted includes BPD “is to protect the lives and property of those citizens, to understand and respond to the specific needs of the community and to improve the quality of life for the citizens by building capacities to maintain order, resolve problems, prevent crimes through high visibility and community-oriented policing concepts and apprehend criminals in a manner consistent with the Constitution of the United States, the laws of the State of Tennessee, and the ordinances of the City of Bartlett.”
Corrections Officer Vassar Richmond leaves behind his wife, son, and two daughters. It will take the overwhelming love and support from the community to help the Richmond family through this difficult time.
Gail Pabst, family member to officers everywhere, shared prayers for the Richmond family. “My family and I would like to extend our sincere condolences to the family, friends, and coworkers of Corrections Officer Vassar Richmond during this difficult time. May they find comfort and support from those around them. May happy moments from the past bring precious memories to cherish for a lifetime. May God help heal their aching hearts. Thank you for your service, and may you rest in peace, Corrections Officer Vassar Richmond.”
Corporal Gary Hughes (retired) shared sympathies with the Richmond family. “Rest in Peace Corrections Officer Richmond. Thank you for your service. My thoughts and prayers are with the Richmond Family and the Bartlett Police Department.”