Widows of fallen officers strive to keep husbands’ legacies alive

BATON ROUGE, La (LOCAL 33) (FOX 44) – On July 17, a tragic Sunday morning left several local families heartbroken and in disbelief.

“My heart is heavy, but the admiration and strength I feel give me the strength I need to carry on,” said Dechia Gerald, widow of Matthew Gerald.

“He asked that we not let hate affect our hearts,” said Trenisha Jackson, widow of Montrell Jackson.

After a year later, the recovery process and their mission continues. Trenisha Jackson, Dechia Gerald and Tonya Garafola have maintained their commitment to bridging the gap between local law enforcement and those they protect.

“Brad is no longer here with me or with us. So I am here to speak on his behalf. I am here for him, for my kids, and all law enforcement and their families that is important I believe to all of u,” said Tonya Garafola, widow of Brad Garafola.

While there have been many somber moments since last summer, the Greater Baton Rouge area continues to rally around the widows of our fallen officers.

Back in February, both Trenisha Jackson and Brad Garafola Jr. threw the first pitch at LSU baseball games.

In March, Matthew Gerald’s widow gave birth to a healthy baby boy when Falyn Matthew Gerald was introduced to the world.

In May, a small group from Baton Rouge, including the widows, traveled to our Nation’s Capitol for a country-wide memorial service.

Their commitment to our community continues, as well as the legacy of unity our fallen officers left behind.

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