(WLNS) – Local police agencies stepped up to help out in the wake of the accident Sunday.
They took over patrols as the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office shut down for two hours while the news of the loss sunk in.
And as Christa Lamendola learned—- many deputies are putting on a brave face to continue the work Whitakar did best— serving Ingham County.
“We do deeply care about our community and Grant was one of those.”
Flags at half staff and black bands across their badges— it’s a dark day for those working at the Ingham County Sheriff’s Office– after losing Deputy Grant Whitaker in a car crash Sunday morning.
“We were prepared with the mechanics of it but you are never prepared for the feelings and the emotions,” said Ingham County Sheriff Sgt. Tim O’Neil.
“We have a psychologist we brought in already he got to the office probably about 5:30,” said Ingham County Sheriff Gene Wrigglesworth.
Whitaker was known for his great smile—and for being one of the friendliest deputies around.
“He was just well liked by his community 25 year old guy just bought his first house,”said O’Neil.
A house that is less than a mile away from where he died in the town of Stockbridge– where Whitaker lived his whole life.
In fact– 6 sports video shows Whitaker just seven years ago–when Whitaker — number 43 played on the high school basketball team.
After graduation— he worked as an officer at the Stockbridge Police Department before becoming an Ingham County Deputy.
And though he had been with the department for less than two years– he made a lasting impression.
“He had a great smile just a funny guy,” said O’Neil.
“He was a happy go lucky guy doing what he loved– his dad even said this morning today he said well he died doing what he loved,”said Wrigglesworth.
And with his death— the community is wrapping their arms around the department— bringing gifts like teddy bears to the Sheriff’s Office for support.
Just steps outside of the Ingham County Sheriffs office there is a memorial with the names of local law enforcement officers that died in the line of duty.
Grant Whitakers name will be added to this memorial as just one way to remember him.
The Sheriff says there will be a formal funeral for Deputy Whitaker but at this point a date hasn’t been set.
Meanwhile– the search for the vehicle whitaker was chasing continues.