Honoring a Fallen Friend
In January 2016, EPPD Deputy Chief Greg Weber left Minnesota for Quantico, Virginia, for an intensive 10-weeks of training at the FBI National Academy (FBINA), along with 232 other law enforcement officers from around the world.
On the first day he was randomly assigned a roommate, Lt. Patrick Weatherford of the Newport, Arkansas, Police Department. They immediately hit it off after realizing they both liked to keep their room spotless (Lysol spray was Patrick’s favorite) and subscribed to the “early to bed, early to rise” adage. They also both had a sly sense of humor. On their first evening Greg overhead Patrick telling his wife on the phone, “Yep, he’s a Yankee alright, but I can understand him.”
Over the course of the next 10 weeks, Greg and Patrick became close, bonding over their coursework and sharing stories about their families back home. After graduation they continued to stay in touch via text and email. Greg would often receive encouraging and humorous messages from Patrick at the exact times it seemed he needed them most.
On June 12, 2017, Greg received a call from a fellow FBINA classmate, letting him know that Patrick had been killed in the line of duty while responding to a theft from a vehicle call. An 18-year-old man fleeing the scene shot and killed Patrick and was later arrested. At 41 years old, Patrick left behind a wife and two children.
Greg traveled to Arkansas for the funeral in June and had a chance to meet Patrick’s family, colleagues and friends. It was apparent to Greg that Patrick was not only a great police officer, but also a highly respected man in the community of Newport.
On Monday of this week Greg had an opportunity to honor Patrick at the FBINA’s Hall of Honor ceremony which recognizes members of recent graduating classes who were killed in the line of duty. In addition to Patrick, fellow classmate Chief Deputy Clinton Greenwood of the Harris County, Texas, Constables Office, who was shot and killed April 3, 2017, was also remembered.
At the Hall of Honor ceremony, Greg spoke in front of his former classmates, family members of the fallen officers and FBI leadership. He talked about how well-liked Patrick was, how committed he was to his family and how dedicated he was to protecting and serving his community. Patrick Weatherford was a great man and a loyal friend, and will be deeply missed.