This week, Columbus Division of Police officers lost their brother, Detective Gary Adkins. Gary was a 27-year-veteran of the Division, working mostly on the West Side in the famed 8 Precinct of Franklinton. He was much loved and is missed by his family, fellow officers, and friends. They are devastated by his passing.
Gary loved being with his wife and kids, football, watching John Wayne movies, and playing pool. His partner of almost eight years, Officer Jeremy Gilbert, said "Everyone knew that when 88 wagon pulled up, we would handle what had to be done, but they also knew that Gary was getting out of the passenger seat. In our whole time together, I had never NOT driven!
"Gary and I talked about everything under the sun, especially on the long 12 hour shifts of Red, White and Boom. His wife Steph would pack us the most delicious sandwiches, just in case we were too busy to stop and eat."
"On 8 Precinct, it is an honor like no other to earn your 'Eight Ball.' 🎱 No other precinct I've ever worked has been so tight-knit and battle tested. The day that Gary and John Miles gave me my 8 Ball, I cried. Here I am, 6'3" and 240 lbs of big ass cop, and I cried like my mom had just scolded me as a toddler. I have tried to live up to that standard every day since, both professionally and privately.
"See, Gary was more than a great cop and partner (I NEVER doubted whether he had my back). Gary loved his wife, their daughter and son more than anything in this world. Most days, the talk would be about our kids and their sports or academic accomplishments. Gary was a great partner, a great brother, a better husband, and the best dad I've ever known. It is through messy, snotty tears that I write this because I miss him so much already but also because I'm so GODDAMN MAD at him for leaving them and us!"
Gary had another partner on 8 Precinct, Officer Eddie Wright: "My time with Gary wasn't nearly as long as some of the others on 8A. Gary was the senior officer on the unit and played that part well. He was a wealth of information not only from his years of service but also from spending the majority of his career on 8 Precinct.
"Gary hated to drive. Being new to the unit, I was shocked when one day he told Sergeant he was working the wagon with me (because of Jeremy's days off). That was it...no discussion with me about it. I wanted to work the wagon. Truthfully, I was honored and truly enjoyed every day we got to work together.
"Not only was he a wealth of information with amazing stories, but his love for his family was ever-present. He loved his wife Steph and it was clear the way he spoke about her, called to check on her throughout our shift and would tell stories about her. His kids were his world. Endless stories of his daughter Ellie and son Ethan. He spoke numerous times about how excited he was to someday become a grandfather. He loved the time he spent with Ethan. Watching him play sports and the time they spent at their family farm. I found myself asking for advice frequently, not about police work...but about life.
"Gary was a hell of a cop, a great husband, father, and partner. Not only will I miss him at work, but I'll miss his friendship."
Starfish extends its deepest condolences to Detective Adkins's family, his fellow officers, and everyone else who loved him.
If you are a law enforcement officer we thank you for everything you do to care for the communities that you serve. Please do not lose sight of the fact that you also need to care for yourself. Reach out for help if you need it. Take it if it's offered. Text BLUE to 741741 if you wish to remain anonymous or visit Blue Help.