NYPD Lieutenant to attend Det. Sgt. Mason Griffith funeral
ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - Police officers from around the country are expect to attend the funeral on Sunday for Hermann Police Department Detective Sergeant Mason Griffith, who also served as police chief in Rosebud. One of those who’ll be attending is Lieutenant Ben Gelber with the New York Police Department.
Despite a distance of a thousand miles and working for vastly different police departments, Gelber and Griffith had been friends for over a decade.
“We just hit it off. We had the same sense of humor and the same sense that we wanted to help out the community,” said Gelber
The two met 12-years-ago in an online forum on Facebook for police officers who collect patches from other police departments. Gelber said they joked about the huge difference in the size of the cities they served and the sizes of their police departments.
A few years ago, Gelber said he and a friend drove to Missouri to visit Griffith.
“He then allowed us to do a ride along so where we got to see life as a small town cop,” said Gelber.
Gelber said Griffith made him an honorary member of the Rosebud Police Department. He said they talked or texted three or four times a week. And he said it was a text message from Griffith’s wife that first alerted him that something bad had happened.
“The message I received said, ‘Hey Ben, it’s Jenn. Call me ASAP.’ My heart sunk,” he said.
Gelber said she told him Mason had been killed shot and killed. There was no question that Gelber would attend the funeral for an officer who paid the ultimate sacrifice, who was also a good friend.
“Unfortunately he was killed doing what he loved to do,” said Gelber.
Since one of Griffith’s sons also plans a career in law enforcement, the police officers who are attending the funeral are bringing one of their department’s official patches to give him.
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