CINCINNATI — Amid flashing red and blue lights, loved ones and members of the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office gathered to see Major Earl Price Jr., a veteran of the Sheriff's Office of nearly four decades, laid to rest at Spring Grove Cemetery on Tuesday.
Price was the first African American to achieve the rank of Major within the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office and spent much of his time serving by teaching the men and women within the department.
"Thousands of hours of training, and training to become one of the region's most elite trainers in law enforcement," said Jim Neil, former Hamilton County Sheriff.
WCPO spoke with Price in December, as he worked with the Hamilton County Commission and the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center to implement bias training that prepares deputies to intervene in situations in a way that prevents misconduct and mistakes.
"You're going to have officers that are going to be looking out for each other to save lives, to protect the safety of that officer, to make sure that officer is doing the right thing," said Price in December. "And not covering up for something that is wrong. That's something we should've had years ago."
Price's passion for people was well known throughout the department, the community and his family.
"Letting Earl go today is the toughest thing of my life and I'm going to miss my brother," said Michael Price.
During the funeral service, Major Price's badge number was officially retired; that number usually follows a deputy throughout their career and is often recycled after retirement. Price's was presented to his family.
He was 65 years old and in his 47th day of retirement when he suffered a fatal heart attack, according to the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum.