LOUDON, Tenn. (WATE) — It’s clear the tragic loss of Loudon County Sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Jenkins has served as a reminder to many just how dangerous a career in law enforcement is for those who put on the uniform each day.

Sgt. Jenkins died Thursday while working a call on Interstate 75 in Loudon County. Jenkins was removing a ladder that had come off a vehicle from the roadway.

Tennessee law enforcement came together Friday and escorted Jenkins body from the Regional Forensics Center in Knoxville, past the Loudon County Justice Center, and to Loudon Funeral Home and Cremations. The procession left around 12:30 p.m. headed west down I-40 to I-75 and Loudon County. The gray hearse was flanked by four police motorcycles.

“The law enforcement here in Loudon is family,” Richard Guiton said, who came to watch the procession. “Then, all they protect, we feel like we’re family also, you know?

“Means a lot to me; people stepping up, risking their lives to do something as simple as pick up a ladder and lose your life. I just have to pay respects.”

Families stood in the cold waiting for the blue lights to make their way to the Justice Center. Many had their hands over their hearts and hoped to send a message of unity to a grieving family.

“I’m proud,” said Becky Bryant, who has two sons who are former law enforcement officers. “Very proud to see that there’s such a crowd and so many people that’s willing to honor law enforcement.

“I just want this family and everybody to know that there are people who are very supportive of law enforcement, and we’re all here for them if they need anything. I pray that God will comfort them and help them through this – the family and all the other officers.”