Hero Down: Alto Police Officer Keith Radcliffe Dies After Suffering Brain Bleed
Tyler, TX – Alto Police Officer Keith Radcliff died in the line of duty on Thursday afternoon, after suffering a massive brain bleed two days prior.
Officer Radcliff, 50, was a half mile away from his home at the end of his shift on Tuesday, when he received a request for a welfare check, KTRE reported.
After he determined that the woman who called 911 was safe, the 22-year law enforcement veteran began walking to his patrol car, then suddenly collapsed.
The woman he had been helping immediately called 911 to summons emergency assistance for him.
"When they called me, I had just pulled into the house, they called and said they had an officer down and they really didn't know much information at the time," Alto Police Chief Jeremy Jackson told KETK.
"I just got in my car and drove to the scene and the ambulance was there, they were loading him up," Chief Jackson recalled. "Your heart just sinks when you hear that call 'officer down.’”
Officer Radcliff was rushed to a local hospital, where doctors determined he suffered a massive brain bleed, according to KTRE.
His organs were donated to help save the lives of others prior to him passing away at 4:41 p.m. on Thursday, KETK reported.
Officer Radcliff’s law enforcement career began in 1993, when he joined the Rusk Police Department as a reserve officer, according to his obituary.
He later became a patrolman for the agency, where he remained for three years.
Officer Radcliff went on to serve 17 years with the Cherokee County Sheriff’s Office, where he worked as a jailer, patrol deputy, criminal investigator, and jail administrator.
He retired at the rank of chief deputy in 2013.
The lifelong lawman returned to law enforcement in 2017, when he joined the Alto Police Department (APD).
“His total package of experience can never be replaced in a department like mine — a five-man department for a city the size of Alto…you don’t get 25-plus year veterans to come turn in an application here,” Chief Jackson told KTRE. “He was just a special, special guy. Not only as a person, but as an officer and an asset to my department. That’s the hard part.”
Officer Radcliff immediately became a well-respected member of the department.
"He was very business-oriented but he was very much the jokester, the prankster, and he balanced those two," the chief told KETK.
Between 40 and 50 patrol vehicles escorted the fallen officer’s body along the route to a Jackson Funeral Home on Thursday, KTRE reported.
Officer Radcliff leaves behind his wife, Misty, as well as his daughter, Briana, his son, Brenden, his stepdaughters Morgan and Meagan, and his stepson, Luke, according to his obituary.
He is also survived by his parents, three grandchildren, and many friends and extended family members.
He will be laid to rest on Sunday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Alto Police Officer Keith Radcliff, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.