BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KERO) — California Highway Patrol CHP Officer Scott Merritt was a 16-year veteran who was currently serving the Bakersfield area. His fellow officers say he will never be forgotten.
“Scott's character and loving spirit will be held close to our hearts forever,” said Amanda Ray CHP Commissioner.
Friday afternoon Merritt, 42, was laid to rest after a memorial to honor his life of service and commitment to his duty.
The morning started with a law enforcement motorcade, California Highway Patrol, Bakersfield Police Department, and the Fire Department all drove with the procession to show their respect.
The event at Valley Baptist Church celebrated Merritt’s life, his family, and service to the community. CHP members spoke in fond remembrance of their friend and got emotional sharing their stories.
Levi Miller, Commander of the CHP Bakersfield area, recalled the first time he met Merritt.
“I was greeted at the entrance to my office by a big man with a big beard and an even bigger smile standing in my doorway. I could tell this man was confident, kind, and happy a combination of attributes that is rarely found in people today,” said Miller.
Officer Merritt's parents, brother, wife and two children were attendance but did not speak.
Jeremy Bridges read a letter Merritt’s wife, Shannon, had written about the special bond she shared with her husband and how difficult this loss is.
“Scott was a wonderful man. He worked hard and he put his family first. He provided a life I never imagined, and he gave me two beautiful children. He made every wish of mine come true and from the moment I met him, I knew my life would change. Needless to say, our lives will not be the same without him.”