In Memory of Reserve Sergeant John Richard Bullard, Jr.
On Wednesday, August 11, 2021, Missouri residents were informed that a local police officer had died due to the COVID19 pandemic. Unfortunately, hundreds of officers across the US have been lost to this deadly virus. Reserve Sergeant John Bullard, with the Independence Police Department, died due to complications of the coronavirus. Bullard was 64 years old.
Sergeant Bullard’s death is considered a line of duty death. Federal legislation was put in place to ensure the families of law enforcement officers receive full benefits if they lose their loved ones to the virus. Occupations like law enforcement have a much higher risk of contracting the virus. Officers contact many civilians throughout their work, and at times, social distancing is not an option. You can’t cuff someone from six feet away. Yet, officers have continued to protect their communities despite the risk.
Reserve Sergeant John Richard Bullard, Jr. served his community as a law enforcement officer for more than 46 years. The amount of knowledge lost with such a long-time member of the department is expansive. So many veteran officers have been lost during this pandemic, and these were the department’s leaders – the ones who mentored newer, younger officers. The loss of any officer for any department can be devastating.
Independence Police Department, Missouri
The Independence Police Department was initiated in 1882. Prior to this beginning, the city of Independence operated a night watch. Today the department has approximately 210 sworn officers and 100 additional civilian staff.
The department provides services to more than 120,000 residents. Currently, the department is working on repairing its reputation with civilian residents. However, the department is making real progress through new community policing efforts and working directly with business owners. The department has a jurisdiction that covers more than 78 square miles.
Bullard believed in this department and making a difference in his community. The department falls under the jurisdiction of the Jackson County Sheriff’s Office, which has overriding authority.
Reserve Sergeant John Richard Bullard, Jr. leaves behind his wife, daughter, son, two stepdaughters, ten grandchildren, and parents. A large family is left without their leader, their rock, who will need the support of each other and the community around them in order to work through this grief. Time heals slowly. Honor guards from the department will ensure that the services for Bullard will be memorable for the community as they gather to share their gratitude.
Michael Manners, a local attorney, expressed the loss he felt and sympathy for the family. “I am very sorry to read of John’s passing. I was an attorney for FOP Lodge No. 1 when John was its President, so I got to know him very well. He was a fine police officer and an even better man. I offer my deepest condolences to his family for this terrible loss.”
Friend Timothy Dodson is filled with grief and sadness over this loss. “My heart and mind are still numb from losing this cherished friend, blue line confederate, and brother in spirit. He attended my daughter’s wedding. I attended his and Terri’s wedding. So many wonderful blessed memories we shared, joyful and painful. Over the past quarter-century, John and I spent many long hours in protective ministry. I will miss his wisdom, strength, and spirit. I am eternally thankful I knew him. My prayers continue for Terri and John’s loved ones.”