GREEN COVE SPRINGS, Fla. — Chief Derek Scott Asdot with the Green Cove Springs Police Department, who died after a battle with COVID-19 was laid to rest Wednesday.
Services were held at 11 a.m. at the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, located at 461 Blanding Blvd., in Orange Park, Florida.
During the service, many friends and family spoke out about how dedicated the family man was.
Asdot's daughter Ashley asked those to that loved him to keep his memory alive.
“As much as we will mourn and miss him every single day, we need to celebrate his life and our time with him and we’ll see him again another day and until then he’ll be all of our guardian angel. We love him so much," said Ashley.
Jacob, Asdot's son spoke about how thankful he was for the life lesson's his father has taught him.
“My dad was always teaching Ashley, my mom and myself to be mentally tough and I’m glad he stressed that so much because it does apply to all areas of life especially in this case. I’m so happy to have such a great man to be my dad I love you so much," said Jacob.
Several colleagues of Asdot's shared stories of his service and dedication to the community. Green Cove Spring Police Commander E.J Guzman says Asdot's legacy will live on.
"No one can fill Derek's shoes. A leader like him doesn't come very often although his green cove family will now have to move on without him we stand committed to continue with his vision for this agency," said Guzman.
A graveside service followed at the Jacksonville National Cemetery, at 2:30 p.m., and will be closed off to the public.
The procession route will took place at approximately 12:30 p.m., after the funeral service.
Police took Chief Asdot from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints to the Jacksonville National Cemetery.
MAP OF PROCESSION:
The GCSPD and Asdot families would like to thank everyone for their continued support through this rough time, said the sheriff's office in a statement.
Chief Asdot is survived by his wife loving wife Angie, his son Jake, and his daughter Ashley.
According to First Coast News' count, he is the 9th law enforcement officer on the First Coast to die from the virus.
"Derek was large in stature but larger than life in person," Putnam County Sheriff Gator DeLoach described his friend and colleague.
Flags are flying at half staff in the small town this week. His car is now a memorial outside the police station.
Shortly after starting as an officer with the Green Cove Springs Police in 2002, Asdot was selected to go to Quantico, Virgina to the Drug Enforcement Administration Academy.
So was DeLoach, who was a deputy at the time, just one county south in Putnam.
"We rode together," DeLoach recalled. "Although we knew each other, we became close friends then. We talked about lots of things: Life, politics, our family."
"Derek told me he aspired to be chief in Green Cove Springs one day, and we started talking about that," DeLoach recalled from that trip. "I told him, 'That’s funny because my goal is to run for Sheriff in Putnam County.'"
In 2016, Deloach was elected sheriff, and in 2017 Asdot became police chief in Green Cove Springs. They both attended each other's swearing in ceremonies.
They even attended the FBI Academy together.
"See that brick right there," DeLoach pointed to a yellow brick on display in his office. It's a memento from the academy. "Derek has one in his office just like it."
In four years as police chief, Asdot became known as a transformative leader in tight-knit Green Cove Springs.