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Homeless Honor Fayetteville Officer with Fund

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Richard Blackmon (seen here in 1994) took his own life after a battle with terminal cancer.
FAYETTEVILLE — Two officers were gunned down on I-95 last week, another took his own lifeafter fighting a year-long battle with cancer. Officer Richard Blackmonwas 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 uniformfor his job, but took his assignment much further than that. As the solepolice 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 coworkerssay it became so much a passion he would often come in on his own time totake care of the poor.

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

Sgt. Dalton remembers Blackmon as a compassionate person who dida 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. Whenhe 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. "Peopleloved him and he was compassionate to them for them to show that kind ofcompassion back to him."

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

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

Photographer:Lori Foushee

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