Rigney honor deserved

Published 10:14 am Friday, May 2, 2014

One of the greatest tragedies a community faces is when someone who swore to protect that community is killed in the line of duty.

Police officers put themselves in harm’s way on a daily basis, never knowing exactly what kind of calls for service there may be and what kinds of people will be on the scene.

It’s a risk every law enforcement officer takes every day and it’s something most of us don’t even think about.

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To remember those officers who paid the ultimate price for their service, the Ohio Fallen Officer’s Memorial Wall at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London added six more names this week.

One of those was Constable Joseph Rigney of the former Rome Township Police Department.

Described as a “one-man raid,” Rigney stopped an illegal gambling operation at the former Parrot Club near Proctorville and sent its owner out of the state. He also raided several other clubs with illegal slot machines.

Unfortunately, Rigney was gunned down in 1952 while serving a warrant in Gallia County.

Almost forgotten, Rigney’s legacy was uncovered by current Gallia County Sheriff Joe Browning recently, and with help from Lawrence County Sheriff Jeff Lawless, the two put the pieces together to have the officer’s name immortalized with 767 other fallen officers on the memorial wall.

Thank you to Browning and Lawless for working together to make sure one of Lawrence County’s finest is finally getting the recognition he deserves.