ZACHARY, LA (WAFB) - How do you say farewell to a hero not once, but twice?
Deputy Chief Christopher Lawton was not only a decorated firefighter with the Zachary Fire Department but spent over 2,000 hours serving the community as a part-time officer with the Zachary Police Department, according to Chief David McDavid.
"He gave a lot to this community besides spending time with his family, wife, and kids," said Chief McDavid. "I can't even put into words how much he's done for this community," he said.
Chief McDavid says Lawton became the first police officer in the history of his department to be killed in the line of duty.
Hundreds of law enforcement agencies from across the state traveled to Zachary to pay tribute to a man many have called a "double hero."
Lawton received dual funeral honors. He received In the Line of Duty Police Officer Death Honors as well as Active Duty Fire Department Death Honors.
Louisiana State Fire Marshal Butch Browning said he worked with Deputy Chief Lawton years ago.
Browning said he knew Lawton had the potential for greatness.
"It's a very significant loss, not only to the fire department and police department but to America in general. We need more people like Chris Lawton," Browning said.
Thousands lined the streets of Zachary to honor and say their final good-byes to Deputy Chief Lawton as he made his final pass by both stations he called home.
"I love to see the support, but I hate they have to come together for this reason," said Reagan Daniel.
Daniel, the wife of a police officer, said she's watched her husband help plan law enforcement processionals for the last two years.
"It's not a fun job when you become the person who they call to plan things," she said.
But this service, in particular, hits too close to home.
"It's emotional to watch," Daniel said. "To see how much of a brotherhood, it is and the support they all show to each other."
A fire and police procession carried Lawton to his final resting place in Clinton. The family requested donations to be made to charities. You can donate in Chris' honor.
Memorial donations may be made to First Responders Children's Foundation, 38 East 32nd Street, Suite 602, New York, New York 10016 or Wounded Warrior Project, PO Box 758517, Topeka, Kansas 66675-8517 or directly to the Zachary Fire Department or Zachary Police Department.
The Baton Rouge Firefighters Local 557 has also opened an account at BRFD Federal Credit Union. The account number is 6090-B. Donations will be collected for 30 days. On April 10, all donations will be given to Lawton's family.