A year after Officer Nick Rodman's death, his family and LMPD carry on to honor his legacy
March 29, 2018 marks one year since LMPD Officer Nick Rodman died in the line of duty.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – March 29, 2018 marks one year since LMPD Officer Nick Rodman died in the line of duty.
Officers were responding to reports of shots fired and an assault on March 28, 2017. According to LMPD, the suspect, Wathaniel Woods, took off driving a car through the intersection of 26th and Duncan Streets. Woods’ car smashed into Rodman’s patrol car, which had its lights and sirens on.
Surgeons worked tirelessly to save Rodman’s life, but he passed away at 3:40 p.m. the next day.
“When Nick passed away, there have been so many people that reached out to us," said George Rodman, Nick's father. "We could not move forward without their support. We just couldn’t.”
The color blue runs deep in the family. Nick Rodman’s father and brother are also police officers. George Rodman, a retired LMPD officer, is an officer with Graymoor-Devondale now. Andrew Rodman is a sergeant with LMPD’s Third Division.
A year may have passed, but the pain still lingers.
“The hardest part of this year is you have the first of everything,” George Rodman said.
The first birthdays, vacations, football games, anniversaries without Nick will all come.
“I wake up every morning, I sit on the side of the bed, then I figure out, 'OK. What do I need to do today to keep moving on that Nick would want us to do?'” George Rodman said.
The Rodman family wants to make sure the city they love and the city that came to support them will still remember Nick.
“He had a great smile,” George Rodman said. “He could light up a room. But the biggest thing is he was a dad, he was a husband, and he took care of his family.”
Nick leaves behind his wife, Ashley, and young children, Mason and Elly Jean. But he also leaves behind a lasting impact.
“His impact that he made wasn’t made by his death,” Andrew Rodman said. “His impact was made by his life.”
Andrew Rodman described his brother as a kind, good person and a “helping soul” to everyone he met.
Nick’s impact on the First Division, his beat, was clear when he passed away. There were blue ribbons, posters, balloons and flags all over the Portland neighborhood and all across the city of Louisville.
The Rodman family said they are so thankful for the city’s support last year and the continued support now.
“There’s been people who have stepped up in Louisville,” George Rodman said. “And that’s what’s mean so much to us because of how much we love this city.”
George Rodman wanted to specifically thank Supporting Heroes, the Louisville Police Foundation, LMPD Chief Steve Conrad, Mayor Greg Fischer, Officer Todd Hale and Lt. Mike O’Neil. He said they provided the help his family needed when he knew he couldn’t walk the road alone.
“Losing Nick will always hurt us,” George Rodman said. “And it’s not just us. It’ll always impact LMPD. It’ll always impact the people in the city of Louisville. But just remember: They’re still out here pounding the pavement.”
George Rodman is proud of his son’s work as an officer and the impact he made on people’s lives. But he said more good work happens every day as officers are protecting the city.
“I want to honor Nick’s life, not his death,” he said. “I want to honor his life, and I want to honor all these young officers who are out here doing the right thing.”
The father and son duo make sure to carry on their police duties as normal, because they believe that’s what Nick would want.
“We still put the uniform on every day and do what we’re supposed to do,” George Rodman said. “Because if we didn’t do that, Nick would be mad at us.”
And they believe Nick’s dedication and his life will never be forgotten.
“My dad always told me you leave a legacy while you’re alive," George Rodman said. "Not after you’ve passed away.”
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