Charleston Co. Sheriff sends open letter of thanks following deputy's funeral

Charleston Co. Sheriff sends open letter of thanks following deputy's funeral
Charleston Co. Sheriff Al Cannon posted an open letter to the Charleston and law enforcement communities.
Charleston Co. Sheriff Al Cannon posted an open letter to the Charleston and law enforcement communities.

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Charleston County Sheriff Al Cannon is giving thanks to fellow law enforcement officers and the public following the death and funeral of one of his deputies.

In the letter, Cannon writes:

Working as public servants in a profession such as ours, we are required to deal with a multiplicity of situations and bear witness to some of the most evil acts committed in our society. An evil act took the life of one of our own and injured another one of our deputies on September 8, 2014. While assisting his fellow deputies with a disturbance call at the Gardens on Ashley Apartment Complex in Charleston, Deputy Joseph "Joe" Matuskovic was shot and killed in the line-of-duty. He made the ultimate sacrifice in protecting our community. Deputy Michael Ackerman, who was serving as a back-up deputy was shot in the leg. Additionally, during this tragic event, a veteran County employee, a great public servant and a dear friend, Larry Britton, who was serving in a support role for our deputies, died following an apparent cardiac event. Subsequently, law enforcement and the community responded with overwhelming support and sympathy during this tragic event. The help received from the public displayed a good example of how it should be when the community and law enforcement join together for a common purpose. This tragic event will never be forgotten and it will always be forever cemented in our minds and remembered by our community.

On behalf of the men and women of the Charleston County Sheriff's Office, I want to take this opportunity to extend my sincere gratitude and thankfulness to the many local and federal law enforcement agencies in the State of South Carolina, and throughout the country, for showing unyielding support to the family of Deputy Sheriff Joseph Matuskovic and to the men and women of the Sheriff's Office. Most importantly, I want to express my deepest and heartfelt gratitude to YOU, the citizens of Charleston County for showing overwhelming love and support for our Agency. Please know that the Sheriff's Office family is grateful to each and every one of you for taking the time to embrace us and stand with us during this very difficult time. Your support sustains us during our time of grief. Your support also serves as a reminder that the community plays a vital role in the success of a law enforcement agency such as ours.

Thank you for caring.

Sheriff J. Al Cannon, Jr.

Matuskovic was laid to rest on Sept. 15. A large procession led mourners through West Ashley to the burial site at Old St. Andrews Parish. Hundreds of people lined the route touting flags and homemade signs, paying their respects for the fallen deputy.

Lowcountry residents showed support for Matuskovic, Ackerman and the law enforcement community by turning on blue-colored porch lights following the funeral service.

is set for October 3.

The Fraternal Order of Police Tri-County Lodge #3 is teaming up with the Charleston County Sheriff's Office to host a benefit dinner for the family of Deputy Joseph Matuskovic and Deputy Michael Ackerman on Friday, October 3 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at St. Joseph Catholic Church.

All proceeds from the dinner will go into funds established by the Fraternal Order of Police for the deputies; The Deputy Joe Fund will be divided equally into three trust funds for Matuskovic's children, while the Deputy Mike Fund will help Ackerman immediately.

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