PINE BLUFF, Ark. – More than a hundred law enforcement officers came together Tuesday morning to honor fallen Pine Bluff police officer Kevin Collins.
Officers escorted the fallen officer’s body from the Arkansas State Crime Lab to Pine Bluff. The escort traveled Interstate 630 in Little Rock to Interstate 30 and Interstate 530.
Some vehicles in the opposite direction pulled over on the shoulder to pay respect.
Officer Kevin Collins was a familiar face in Pine Bluff, and made a big impact in his over 5 years of service. After his sudden death Monday morning, family and friends remembered his life, and the differences he made wherever he went.
“He wasn’t a police officer, he was a friend,” New Life Church pastor Matt Mosler said in remembrance. “When he put the badge on or put the gun on and stepped out, he was serving, he was doing ministry.”
Collins was known as a man who touched the hearts of the community, and his loss is felt deeply. “To see a man like that go before his time,“ Mosler said, “it just hits hard.”
Officer Collins was remembered at Monday’s Pine Bluff City Council meeting, where community leaders spoke on his more than 5 years of service as a police officer. “The city of Pine Bluff, I’ll tell you all, was a better place because of his courage, his diligence, and not just that,” Mayor Shirley Washington said, “but above all his excellence in everything he did.”
Pine Bluff Police Chief Kelvin Sergeant attended to share his thoughts during the council meeting. “One of the most difficult things that you ever have to do,” he said, “is the loss of an officer.” Mosler was Collin’s pastor, and described him as a gentle giant.
“If we needed help rocking babies, if kids were a little out of control, Kevin would step in.” He went on to describe his faith and dedication to serving others. “Greater love has no one but this,” Mosler quoted, “than he who would lay down his life for his friends.”
As the community tries to heal following this sudden loss, the only thing that remains – is hope. “I just can’t help but believe that with Kevin’s passing,” Mosler said, “there are going to be seeds that are going to sprout up in this community, and it’s going to help spawn this revival that we have seen building and growing over the past few weeks and months.”
The Pine Bluff Police Department asks that community members keep officers in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time.