Tri-State first responders remember Deputy Sean Riley

Tri-State first responders remember Deputy Sean Riley
Published: Dec. 31, 2021 at 6:24 PM CST
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CISNE, Ill. (WFIE) - As communities in Illinois remember fallen Wayne County Sheriff’s Deputy Sean Riley, area first responders are opening up about who he was as a public servant, father and friend.

Wednesday’s escort of first responders bringing Deputy Riley’s body back to Wayne County is one of many ways these hometown heroes show up for one another in a time of need.

Cisne Fire Chief Josh Smith got the chance to work with Riley often.

“With him being a Wayne County sheriff’s deputy, he interacted with every fire department,” Smith said. “Every ambulance crew, mutual calls with Fairfield City Police, so he was a part of everyone.”

Smith also knew Riley personally, as friends and next-door neighbors.

“Wonderful guy, but more than that - I know he loved his family,” Smith said. “He loved his kids and his wife. Loved his time with them more than anything in the world.”

Riley even coached Smith’s daughter in T-ball.

Smith says Riley and his wife Leslie put their all into community sports.

“They coach, they were responsible for concessions, and trophies, and everything about it,” Smith said. “They made it happen.”

Responders from around the Tri-State have been showing their support, including those in Vanderburgh County.

“We will be there possibly as part of the funeral procession showing our respect for the fallen officer,” Vanderburgh County Sheriff Dave Wedding said. “I think you will see law enforcement from around the Midwest there honoring his service.”

Wedding says whether it’s his own deputy, or a deputy from a few counties over, they show up to help.

“Law enforcement, EMS, fire services, there’s a universal brotherhood and sisterhood for all the occupations,” Wedding said. “When someone is injured or killed, we grieve together as a family.”

Chief Smith says the community can also offer that support for Riley’s family.

“They gave generously to our community,” Smith said. “They gave generously to me. All I can say is in the next coming weeks as we try to do different things for the family, try to give generously like you know they did.”

Funeral arrangements have been made for Deputy Riley. To see those, click here.

Wayne County Sheriff’s Office asks the community to show its support by lining the procession route on Tuesday, Jan. 4.

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