COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH)–“We’re brothers and sisters that take the same oath.”
Those were words spoken by Chicago Police Officer Steven Vidljinovic outside of St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church in Westerville.
“Our job is dangerous,” Vidljinovic said. “When the worst of the worst happens, we want to be there for anything that they need from us.”
Vidljinovic is one of three Chicago officers not only representing his department, but also the Brotherhood for the Fallen at Columbus Officer Steve Smith’s visitation and funeral.
The Brotherhood for the Fallen has chapters in Chicago, in New York, and in Aurora, Colorado. Each chapter sends at least two members (police officers) to the funerals of every officer killed while serving his or her community.
“We think it’s important for the department to be represented across the country, when officers are killed in the line of duty,” said Sgt. Cassidee Carlson. “It helps show solidarity and unity amongst law enforcement across the nation.”
The Chicago and New York chapters will make a financial contribution to Officer Smith’s family.
“This thin blue line goes not only for the officers, but for their families as well,” Carlson said. “We’re so deeply sorry for their loss.”
The Aurora and Chicago officers said they never met Officer Smith, but they will take a piece of him back to their work.
“It’s hard not to take a piece of this and carry this with you,” said Vidljinovic. “We, in memory of Officer Smith, go out every day and do our jobs to the best of our ability.”
Officer Smith’s funeral is scheduled for 11 a.m. on Tuesday at St. Paul the Apostle Catholic Church.
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