HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Family and friends said their final goodbyes to a Hendersonville police officer who died in the line of duty.
Officer Spencer Bristol was hit and killed during a chase on I-65 near Goodlettsville on December 30. His funeral was held Tuesday at First Baptist Church in Hendersonville.
You can watch the entire funeral in the video below:
Hendersonville Police Chief Mickey Miller said it’s been nearly 20 years since the department lost an officer in the line of duty.
To honor Bristol, the department is posthumously awarding him the Chief’s Award, Purple Heart and Medal of Valor. They are also retiring his patrol car number and will display his service pistol at the police department.
This loss has been felt throughout the law enforcement community, but also has brought them closer together. Overnight, the Tennessee Highway Patrol tweeted a photo of troopers conducting honor guard for Officer Bristol.
Tonight we are honored to conduct Honor Guard services for Fallen Hero Officer Spencer Bristol. We will continue to pray for his family and that of the Hendersonville Police Department. RIP my brother! pic.twitter.com/d9DiCrltWh— Colonel THP (@THP_Colonel) January 7, 2020
For an hour on Tuesday afternoon the city of Hendersonville came to a halt as hundreds of residents came to pay their respects to Officer Bristol.
They lined main street for as far as the eye could see. High school students, nurses on their lunch breaks, businesses owners and complete strangers who never met Spencer Bristol but felt how profound his loss has been for this community.
"I just feel their pain. I hope this shows his family how much we love them," said Lisa Hoover who was standing along main street with her hand over her heart.
A seemingly endless stream of blue lights followed Officer Bristol's hearse through the city he's called home since he was a little boy. Officers from all across the state joined the procession down main street where Office Bristol's body eventually passed in front of his squad car which still sits in front of the Hendersonville Police Department.
"I just see people that cared enough to stop what they're doing, give up their time and say thank you," Lisa Hoover added.
Officer Bristol also served his country as a member of the Navy. He was recently promoted in the department and leaves behind a wife a 3-year-old daughter. Friends of his say protecting and service his community was his passion.
“One thing I do know is he lost his life doing what he loves the most and that is saving people regardless of what anybody thinks he should or shouldn't have done. He'd done what he felt was right,” said Anthony Silva.
This week, some local businesses are stepping up to help his family during their time of need. You can visit Texas Roadhouse on Wednesday and Moby Dicky's in Hendersonville this Thursday. Both restaurants say they will donate 100% of their proceeds to his family. Bristol was an employee at the Hendersonville Texas Roadhouse before he joined the police department.
The 100 Club of Sumner County has also set up a fund for the Bristol family at Volunteer State Bank. Click here to donate .
Additionally, the Hendersonville Fraternal Order of Police Lodge partnered with Barbells and Badges to create a T-shirt and hoodie to help raise money for his family.