Police, community honor fallen officer 20 years later

Officer Michael Partin - Courtesy of Facebook
Officer Michael Partin - Courtesy of Facebook

COVINGTON, KY (FOX19) - Covington police and members of the community are holding a vigil early Thursday to honor the memory of an officer who died 20 years ago, after falling from the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

Officer Michael Partin had been on the job just 15 months when he came to the aid of a Kenton County police officer, who was having trouble arresting Shawntae Robertson, a drunk driver who ran on foot onto the bridge.

After stopping his patrol car on the bridge, Partin leaped over the concrete divider between the road and the walkway, but apparently didn't see the 3 foot gap in between and fell into the river.

Dive teams and more than 100 volunteers from area police and fire departments searched the river for weeks looking for Partin's body.

It was five months before Partin's body was recovered.

"It's extremely important to us. We don't ever want people to forget the sacrifices that officers make every day they go to work they may not return home to their families," Officer Mark Richardson said.

Robertson was convicted of 2nd degree manslaughter, but only served two years of a six year sentence.

"We want people to remember what our job is what it entails and how important it is as officers risk their lives for people to have the rights that they do today," Richardson said.

Partin left behind a wife and daughter.

Although Officer Richardson never met him, he said he's heard great things about him.

"I've gotten to know what type of person he was....enjoyed going to work," he said.

The vigil will be held at 1 a.m. in Covington on the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.

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