A Georgia police officer who died on duty is being remembered by his community for a life of service that ended too soon.
Officer Clarence “CJ” Williams died Saturday while chasing a suspect after a traffic stop, according to WCTV-TV. The Cairo Police Department said Williams had suffered a “medical episode.”
The Georgia Bureau of Investigation identified the suspect as Raymond Brown, 24, who was wanted for possession of cocaine and two counts of misdemeanor obstruction of officers. The bureau said on Facebook that Brown was in custody as of Monday.
The Cairo Police Department said in a Facebook post that Williams died “serving the community he so loved.”
Master Patrol Officer Clarence “CJ” Williams made a tremendous impact on his hometown of Cairo, Georgia & leaves behind a legacy of selfless service.
We’ll continue to pray for his family, his brothers & sisters in blue, & all those who knew & loved him. https://t.co/ByjLDNtolr
— GA AG Chris Carr (@Georgia_AG) January 30, 2023
Police Chief Giovannie Santos said in a statement that Williams passed away “while serving his community and doing the profession he so loved.”
“CJ was the type of person who genuinely cared about making a difference in our community and always approached his duties in that respect. His interest in our youth and his desire to become an officer in the city he grew up in is what stood out the most and is one of the reasons why he became a member of the department,” Santos said.
“Anyone who was around him and saw him smile, knew just how infectious it was. It would not take you long, and you would quickly find yourself smiling with him as well, no matter how bad of a mood you may have found yourself in.
“I, along with every individual here at the department, will miss him dearly and all our lives are a little less full without his presence,” Santos said.
Williams is only the second Cairo police officer ever to die on duty — the first was in 1907, according to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
“I feel lost without him; he was a brother to me,” said Ronnie Allen, who considered Williams his best friend, according to WTXL-TV.
Williams graduated from Cairo High School in 2017. He joined the Cairo Police Department in 2020.
Michael Best, the Grady County Schools director of student services, said the entire community feels the loss.
He summed up Williams this way: “Just always a bright smile. A good kid.”
This article appeared originally on The Western Journal.