COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Fellow law enforcement officers, military members, veterans, and civilians paid their respect to Cobb County Sheriff's Office Deputy Jonathan Koleski by lining the streets of Kennesaw for his final ride home.
People from as far as California came out to honor and pay tribute to one of two Cobb County deputies who made the ultimate sacrifice.
A sea of blue, a wave of emotions, and flags as far as the eye could see filled the route a fallen hero took to his final resting place.
“I sat there and teared up as I watched it on the news. I couldn’t believe it. It was so senseless for such a minor bench warrant," Paul Mitchell said.
Mitchell understands the dangers of working in law enforcement as a former captain with the Fulton County Sheriff's Office.
“The procession is beautiful, but I’d rather see the deputies here," he said.
Mitchell calls the law enforcement community a brotherhood.
“When something like this happens, there’s not a Fulton County, Cobb County, Bartow County. It’s just one," Mitchell said. "We’re all law enforcement and we’ve got each other’s back.”
"It’s somber. This really hits home," Darryl Streefkerk said.
Darryl Streefkerk retired from Cobb County after 34 years in law enforcement.
"A policeman is a policeman until the day they die," Streefkerk said. "We wanted to show this family the support they need and let them know they’re not forgotten."
Those who came out to the procession describe it as both unreal and heartbreaking.
"We’ve unfortunately have been to too many of these when officers die in the line of duty. It’s just a sad thing," Streefkerk said.
"Just all the prayers in the world to them," Mitchell said. "If there’s anything we can do, we’ve got to do it for them because they lost everything.”
Mitchell's wife worked with Deputy Koleski and describes him as someone who treated people with respect and had a great passion for his job.