Salisbury, MD – Salisbury Master Police Officer Aaron “Bull” Hudson died unexpectedly at his home on Nov. 19.
“In honor of Officer Hudson, the flag of the City of Salisbury is to be flown at half-staff until further notice,” Salisbury Mayor Jacob Day said in a Facebook post on Nov. 20.
“Furthermore, the City Park fountain will be illuminated in blue for the remainder of 2018 in awareness of suicide prevention and to pay tribute to the life of Salisbury Police Department Master Police Officer Aaron “Bull” Hudson,” the mayor added.
Officer Hudson, 46, was known as the city’s “Downtown Bike Cop,” the Salisbury Independent reported.
Several hundred people gathered in the downtown area to attend a vigil in honor of Officer Hudson the night after he passed away.
“It dawned on me standing out here tonight that Aaron Hudson wore body armor to work every day,” Day told those in attendance. “But there was about nothing else between his heart and every single one of us.”
The 27-year veteran of the department was well-known in the tight-knit community for his welcoming smile and outgoing personality.
“Bull loved our city,” his longtime friend, Community of Joy Church Pastor Martin Hutchison said. “He did what he could to bring joy into our lives — maybe even when he wasn’t feeling too good himself.”
He said Officer Hudson was a “kind, outgoing, lovable, [and] huggable” friend to many.
“He just had a persona that was larger than life, but he was the real deal. He was everybody’s friend,” Hutchinson added.
“Maybe we’ve learned that Bull was hurting,” Day said during the vigil, according to the Salisbury Independent. “I’ve had 17 waking hours since he died to come up with a way to make sense of this — I got nuthin’.”
“He had a charisma that could bring a smile to your face as he brightened the day of all he came into contact with,” the mayor added. “Officer Hudson embodied the quintessence of what it means to be a public servant as he was more than a government official, he was a liaison helping to strengthen relationships between our community and law enforcement.”
Officer Hudson joined the department shortly after he graduated from high school, according to his obituary.
Although he served in many capacities throughout his storied career, “it was his work as a bike patrol officer Downtown that brought him the most joy,” the obituary read.
He had become a “fixture” at various community events, and was “famous for his ‘Hug-A-Bull’ station” at community gatherings, where he shared hugs with everyone he encountered, both young and old, according to his obituary.
Officer Hudson also helped to establish a bus stop pop-up tent initiative where students could go for an after-school snack or to chat with a supportive adult, Delmarva Now reported.
He helped to coach youth lacrosse, and was the recipient of the city’s “Coolest Cop Award” in 2016.
"Bull played such a special role in all of our lives and our Downtown will never be the same without him,” a post on the Downtown Salisbury Facebook page read, according to the paper.
The Salisbury Jaycees announced that the 72nd annual Salisbury Christmas Parade will be dedicated in memory of Officer Hudson, who played the role of Santa Claus in recent years and was scheduled to do so again, WBOC reported.
“Bull brought his warm and energetic spirit to all of his relationships,” his obituary read. “He loved his wife, his children and his friends dearly, and left a lasting impact on all those he touched.”
He leaves behind his wife, Heather, as well as his children, Payge and Chase.
Officer Hudson is also survived by his siblings, friends, and many extended family members.
He will be laid to rest on Tuesday.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Salisbury Master Police Officer Aaron “Bull” Hudson, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.