KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Family, friends and colleagues gathered to say their final goodbyes to Sheriff Mike Cross - a man who loved the people he served as much as they loved him.
"He will be very sadly missed. The shoes that he wore will be very hard to fill," said Kent Strunk, who lives in Scott County.
A career law enforcement officer with 25 years of service in the field, Cross was dedicated to making a difference and was tough on drugs.
"They did away with a lot of meth labs and all sorts of drugs. He was very strict on it," said Sharon Ellis, who lives in Scott County.
He also fought drugs through prayer. He started a monthly prayer service on the Huntsville mall plaza.
"Different ministers would do the preaching and then they would all hold hands in a circle and do the prayer for the community," said Ellis.
They said his leadership changed the county for the better.
"I think it's a better place, I think the community is a lot safer. He cracked down on crime and things have gotten better," said Strunk.
They say Sheriff Cross will never be forgotten.
Officers escorted Cross to Fairview Memorial Gardens, where he was buried.