SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - In conjunction with National Police Week, a special ceremony was held in Salisbury on Tuesday to honor those who wear the badge of law enforcement, and to honor the memory of those who died in the line of duty. The ceremony was very special for young man who hopes to soon become a police officer.
Robert Clement's mother Lunda and stepfather Eric are both in law enforcement, and nearly 19 years ago, his father lost his life several months after being shot while responding to a call in East Spencer.
"When he passed he left behind a really big legacy and that's just something I wanted to follow his footsteps and continue that legacy, and everything he stood for I wanted to carry on," Clement said.
Clement was taking part in the Peace Officer's Memorial Service in Salisbury, along with his mother, his wife and two children.
Clement's father, officer Robert Clement, and many others who died in the line of duty were remembered during the special service held at First Presbyterian Church.
"We want to pay special homage to those who sacrificed their life to this profession, this very noble profession, and remember them." said Salisbury Police Chief Jerry Stokes.
For Robert Clement, the ultimate way to respect the sacrifice of his father is to wear the badge. He's being sponsored now for his Basic law Enforcement Training by Rowan County Sheriff Kevin Auten.
"I think he's got the same personality and he'll handle the job, but he's also got compassion for people…his dad was a mountain of a man," Sheriff Auten said.
And though that legendary officer is no longer with us, his legacy of service appears to be one thing he has passed along to his son.
"Even though I know he's watching from above, I want to do everything to make him happy," Clement said.