Frances Williams extended her thanks and gratitude to the many who responded after Rogers’ death including the law enforcement officers who knew and worked with Rogers, her own co-workers and to the people of the city of Aiken who turned out for the funeral.
“Your love and support was felt that day. Please keep that spirit alive, not just in the face of tragedy,” Williams’ statement said.
Rogers was shot and killed Jan. 28 while checking on a suspicious vehicle at Aiken’s Eustis Park. South Carolina authorities have charged Joshua Tremaine Jones with murder in her slaying. Jones also faces murder charges in Georgia in the shooting death of his girlfriend, Cayce Vice.
Statement of Frances A. Williams
To many, she was Aiken Department of Public Safety Master Cpl. Sandra E. Rogers. To me, though, she was simply Sandy. We shared a love of Atlanta Braves baseball and a home. More important, we shared a life together. We would have celebrated our 27th anniversary on February 2, 2012, the day after her funeral.
Many people came together after the tragic events of January 28. You came to help me, the Rogers and Aiken heal. It was – and to this day still is -- a very difficult time. But I would like to offer some thanks.
Thank you, Aiken Department of Public Safety, for your support. You continued to do your jobs and carried on while dealing with another loss. You paid tribute to Sandy in a very moving and beautiful way. She really would have wondered why there was that much fuss over her. Sandy truly loved her job, her shift co-workers and all the ADPS officers.
Thank you also to all local law enforcement officers for your support of ADPS. You allowed them to take the time to honor Sandy and grieve for their sister. Aiken and Richmond county sheriff’s offices and so many others pitched in to help patrol Aiken. Then, on February 1, there were officers from all over – North Carolina to New York, Atlanta to Chicago. It was truly beautiful and overwhelming.
Thank you, residents of Aiken, for your support. There were more people than I could count along the funeral route. You were holding flags. You had hands over your hearts. You waved at us, told us you were sorry for our loss, and cried with us. You held signs that thanked Sandy for her service. She loved you all. Your love and support was felt that day. Please keep that spirit alive, not just in the face of tragedy.
I have been blessed to have so much support from my co-workers at USC Aiken and my friends and family. They have brought meals and cleaned the house, among other things. Most important, though, you provided a shoulder to cry on or a listening ear when I needed it most. You will never know how much that means to me.
When Scotty Richardson lost his life in the line of duty, somebody asked Sandy at his funeral, “What do we do now?” Sandy simply said, “We go on.” And so we must go on. But Aiken will never forget Master Cpl. Rogers, who made this city safer. I will never forget Sandy, who never missed a chance to make me laugh or to have some fun. She brought so many smiles and so much love to my life. That can never be replaced.
The final call at the end of the funeral said, “Officer 203 is 10-42.” For those who don’t know, 10-42 is the 10 Code for “Off Duty – Home.” Indeed, she is home.
Thank you all,
Frances A. Williams