Robert McKeithen was the epitome of a good cop

Comments by Mayor Andrew “FoFo” Gilich at the funeral of Biloxi Police Officer Robert McKeithen, delivered May 13, 2019 at First Baptist Church of Biloxi.

To Pamela McKeithen and the McKeithen family, Chief John Miller and the Biloxi Police Department family, the law enforcement family, to the family and friends here today:

I am very sorry for your loss.

I am very sorry for our loss.

From all accounts, Robert McKeithen was the epitome of what you would want in a police officer. As his family said, he was living the dream.

He loved his job. He took pride in representing the Biloxi Police Department. He was well-liked, a compassionate, caring professional who had the ability to connect with people. He was a good cop.

This tragedy has brought all of that to light.

Another thing that has been brought to light yet again is the dignity and dedication of our own Biloxi Police Department. I appreciate the manner in which Chief Miller along with all the men and women in the police department have dealt with this tragedy, on top of everything else they deal with day in and day out.

You make me very proud.

You make this city very proud.

As this dreadful event unfolded, I witnessed an amazing collaboration from which we can all take comfort. Let me offer our heartfelt thanks to all the departments and agencies who came to our aid: Chief Leonard Papania and his team from the Gulfport Police Department, Sheriff Troy Peterson and the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, the D’Iberville Police Department, the FBI, ATF, the U.S. Marshals Service, Mississippi Highway Patrol and the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation.

To the people of Biloxi, and to those from near and far who have expressed condolences with calls, emails and prayers, I say thank you. I say God bless all of you.

And, finally, to Pamela and the McKeithen Family, you have been pillars of strength and poise and dignity throughout this ordeal. You have been nothing short of inspirational. I know the last few days have been an emotional rollercoaster for you, but know that when we lay our heads down tonight, we will be thinking of you.

We appreciate that you shared Robert with us, and we are a much better people for it.

God bless you, God bless Biloxi, and God bless the memory of Robert McKeithen.