Local News

Homeless Honor Fayetteville Officer with Fund

Posted September 27, 1997 12:00 a.m. EDT

— Two officers were gunned down on I-95 last week, another took his own life after fighting a year-long battle with cancer. Officer Richard Blackmon was a familiar face among the homeless in Fayetteville. Walking the street was more than just a beat.

Sergeant W.B. Dalton remembers Blackmon as man who put on his uniform for his job, but took his assignment much further than that. As the sole police officer for Fayetteville's homeless project, officer Richard Blackmon spent his time looking after the city's neediest people.

"I think it was very nice of him to do that," Arthur, a homeless man says, "... to take time and come out here and give us blankets."

Blackmon volunteered for the job more than four years ago and coworkers say it became so much a passion he would often come in on his own time to take care of the poor.

"It was more than a job, it was his life," recalls Investigator Mike Raynor of the Fayetteville Police Department. "He loved his family. He loved the police department, and he loved his job."

Sgt. Dalton remembers Blackmon as a compassionate person who did a lot of work with the homeless people that a normal person wouldn't do.

But during it all, Blackmon was fighting his own battle with cancer. When he died, the people he helped, people who have very little themselves, decided to give back by creating a memorial fund.

"It says to me that people cared for him," Sgt. Dalton says. "People loved him and he was compassionate to them for them to show that kind of compassion back to him."

Blackmon wasn't just a police officer, he was a friend, he was there for them.

The memorial fund started by the homeless people will go to Blackmon's two young children. You can send your donation to any area BB&T bank. Simply earmark it for the Officer Richard Blackmon fund, account number #5211237785.

Photographer:Lori Foushee