A tearful goodbye to the 'Sheriff of Riverdale' | News
ATLANTA -- On a day meant for goodbye, hundreds packed the Saint Philip AME Church to celebrate the life of Major Greg Barney, the Riverdale police officer killed in the line of duty.
Barney was shot four times Feb. 11 as he assisted in the serving of a no-knock drug warrant. He was not wearing a bullet-proof vest.
During the service, Riverdale Mayor Evelyn Winn-Dixon and others recalled the character of the Navy veteran, and former firefighter and EMT.
"When you've got that kind of personality and love that comes out people gravitate to you, but what I loved about him, he was that kind of man, humble. He didn't put himself out there and say look at me," said Winn-Dixon. "He was just a man that liked to help people and to be a servant."
Riverdale's Police Chief Todd Spivey announced he was retiring Barney's radio assignment during Saturday's service.
Clayton County Sheriff Victor Hill called Barney "Mr. Riverdale," and the "Sheriff of Riverdale" because of his impact around the community.
"Maj. Greg Barney was undoubtedly one of those few chosen to wear the badge, chosen not by man, chosen by the first policeman, the supreme chief law enforcer," said Hill pointing upward.
Barney's wife, Lisa addressed the crowd of family, friends and law enforcement officers. She expressed gratitude for the support the family has received and thanks for the officers and deputies' service to their communities. She also had a message for her twin sons, Greg and Robert.
"I'm so very proud of this man. I'm proud to be his wife, I'm proud of these boys, and I want you to know your father was hero," she said turning to her 15-year-old twin sons. "Greg loved his job, he loved his Riverdale family, and I'm sad that he's gone, wish he were here, but I can honestly say that if Greg had to go, this is exactly the way he'd want to go."