CHARLOTTESVILLE An estimated 400 mourners gathered Monday in Charlottesville for an 'end of watch' ceremony for Waynesboro reserve police officer Kevin W. Quick, whose body was found Feb. 6 following several days of searching by authorities.
Quick, a volunteer officer with the Waynesboro Police Department since 1990, went missing the night of Jan. 31 after leaving his mother's Afton home.
On Monday, two police officers stood watch over Quick's casket, which rested on the floor of John Paul Jones Arena. Law enforcement personnel from across the state and West Virginia came to pay their last respects to Quick, whose death remains under investigation.
A bagpiper started off the solemn memorial service as members of the Waynesboro police force walked single-file into the arena, followed by Quick's family members and friends. A large picture of Quick hovered above the arena floor on the scoreboard's four screens.
Normally used for sporting events and concerts, on Monday there were no cheers echoing inside the arena. Instead, there were prayers, tears and remembrance.
Capt. Mike Martin, of the Waynesboro Police Department, spoke of the ongoing battle between the forces of good and evil, and said, 'But sometimes that battle between good and evil becomes so pronounced ... and when the fight is that important it always seems that God picks his brightest stars to hold the line. I believe that this was the case with Kevin Quick.'
His voice rising slightly with emotion, Martin added, 'All over our country, our commonwealth and throughout our communities, we are besieged on all sides by soulless savages that continue to victimize good people and tear the fabric of our society. Capt. Kevin Quick understood this; he understood that threat to his way of life. He saw the importance of protecting his family and his community, and he did not run from this. He embraced this sacred responsibility, and he spent 24 years of his life volunteering to stand on that thin blue line that separates good and evil.'
Said the Rev. Dennis Westover, 'One of his strengths was the desire to assist people in everyday life.'
Chief Michael Wilhelm, of the Waynesboro Police Department, also spoke at the service, which was attended by state officials and numerous Waynesboro municipal employees as well.
'As the chief of police, I can tell you this is not something that I would've ever thought I would be doing at any point in my career,' Wilhelm said.
The chief admitted to feeling 'very angry' upon hearing about Quick's death. 'But then I stopped and I thought, this is not what Kevin would want us to do. Kevin would want me to focus on the good. Kevin would want me to smile like he always did, and tell everyone here today that everything is going to be OK,' Wilhelm said.
A final radio call for Quick was played, and Wilhelm posthumously presented him with the department's Distinguished Service Medal.
A private family service and interment followed the memorial.
Police have charged six suspects in connection with Quick's disappearance and death. However, none of the suspects have been charged directly with his death.
Authorities discovered Quick's body in Goochland County.
Quick graduated in 1986 from Nelson County High School, according to his obituary. He attended Eastern Mennonite University, where he obtained a degree in business administration.
In 1990, Quick joined the Waynesboro Police Auxiliary Unit and was an active volunteer for 24 years while rising to the rank of captain. He had been employed for the last 18 years with Invista, where he worked as a supervisor until he lost his job about three weeks before his disappearance, police said. Quick also served on the volunteer fire brigade at Invista.
Quick was 45 years old.