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McLennan Community College police officer laid to rest, legacy shared after he died from COVID-19

51-year-old Ricky Roberts, was a husband, father and friend. He passed away July 19 after battling the virus.

ROBINSON, Texas — A McLennan Community College (MCC) police officer tragically lost his life to COVID-19 while on the job. It's considered a line of duty death because Texas Senate Bill 22 added the virus and any future state emergency illness under the category.

51-year-old Ricky Roberts, was a husband, father and friend. He passed away July 19 after battling the virus. His life was honored and celebrated on Monday.

He wore the thin blue line badge for MCC and was proud of it. He started his career as an officer in 2002 at Texas State Technical College (TSTC) in Waco.

"In fact, it was more than just a job, it was an extension of who he really was. It was characteristic of Ricky that he wanted to be with people, and that he genuinely cared for others," said Richard Hollingsworth, a family friend and pastor who eulogized him.

Roberts was dedicated to the thin blue line, his family and his community.

He had a nature to protect. With 29 years of law enforcement through the prison system and local police departments, he planned to retire in June 2022.

Officer Roberts was Clayton Williams' first hire as police chief for MCC in 2018.

"If I could describe Ricky in one word it would be giving," said Williams.

That's how most describe Roberts: a selfless servant.

Williams said Roberts went to the doctor with severe allergies and ended up testing positive for COVID-19. Things happened so fast after that and Roberts started declining quickly.

But his mark on the world and Central Texas lives on.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to the McLennan Community College Police Department today as one of their brothers,...

Posted by Waco Police Department on Tuesday, July 20, 2021

"He got to know a lot of people in the community as you can see from the turnout today from the officers from all over McLennan County, his legacy is huge," Williams said proudly.

"He was a protector," said Hollingsworth. "Ricky's greatest characteristic might have been that he was selfless, and that he was a servant."

Roberts is survived by his wife, daughter Payton and many other loved ones. There are some ways you can help the family during this time, you can find more information here.