Arkansas law enforcement mourns state police officer after COVID death

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ST. FRANCIS COUNTY, Ark. — Law enforcement in northeast Arkansas is mourning the death of Matthew Chandler Moore, an officer with the Arkansas State Highway Police who was laid to rest following a long fight with COVID-19.

Dozens of law enforcement members from around northeast Arkansas gathered outside a St. Francis County church Wednesday to remember Moore and give him a final farewell.

The 34-year-old father of two lost his battle to COVID-19 Sunday. AHP says he had been on the force 11 years.

“He loved law enforcement. He loved what he did. He loved what the uniform stood for,” Forrest City Police Chief Deon Lee said.

Officers from around the area knew him well. Lee described him as one of the nicest men he’s met.

“The type of personality he had and the kind of person he was, you would think he would probably be a pastor or minister or something. Definitely a great guy, very compassionate,” Lee said.

Chief Lee saying he knew Moore before he became an officer. He remembers him when he was young, tagging along with his dad, who was also an officer.

“His dad is kind of part of the reason I got in law enforcement,” Lee said. “His dad used to patrol my hometown back when I was younger in high school so I was kinda like, ‘Hey I want to be that guy.'”

He says he was proud to watch Moore follow in his father’s footsteps.

“Definitely someone we need in law enforcement. Guys like Chandler don’t come around that often,” he said.

No matter if they’re state police, highway, city, county, “the blue runs deep,” Lee said.

“We got a lot of tools on our belt, you know a bulletproof vest, tasers but there is nothing that, besides being vaccinated, fully vaccinated that can maybe combat or help control this COVID thing,” he said.

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