"It's going to be a void. One that you can put a replacement but you're not going to ever replace Gary Lazard," said Opelousas Police Chief Martin McLendon.
Tonight Opelousas Police are honoring one of their own who died over the weekend.
A candlelight vigil was held for Officer Gary Lazard in front of the police station, where Lazard played a vital role within his department and the community.
"He was a community police officer. Everybody knew him, and it's not until his passing that you realize how many people really respected and loved Gary Lazard," said McLendon.
Opelousas Police Department officer Gary Lazard died unexpectedly on Sunday after serving his community for two decades with Opelousas Police and the St. Landry Parish Sheriff's Office.
He's remembered for his work ethic. Lazard was not only working a police officer, but also comforted families while working with an Opelousas funeral home.
"You couldn't tell him anything about the funeral home and you sure couldn't tell him anything about OPD," said Sergeant Phyllis Tyler.
"Trust in the Lord. With all thy heart and lean not onto your own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your path," read Lieutenant Dwight Brown.
Lazard wore badge number 23. A number that will now be retired within the department. His badge number is retired, but his influence will be long-lasting.
"When you speak to officers, you can feel their hurt, their pain," the chief added. "He was an impact player in this department. He moved around and made his way around different officers and had an impact on their life."
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