NEW ORLEANS - Friday was a day of mourning at the New Orleans Police Department, as fellow officers gathered to say goodbye to Lieutenant Christopher Cambiotti, a well liked and respected officer who served the city for 15 years.
"The most important thing we do is make a difference for the people we serve, and Chris did that. We've received a lot of information from people, a lot of e-mails, a lot of phone calls that the neighborhoods that he policed remember him as someone who made a difference for them and their families. There's really nothing higher in our service than that kind of recognition by the people," said Supt. Ronal Serpas.
Cambiotti was enjoying a weekend with friends on Saturday when he was photographed with a big smile on his face in the vintage car they drove to Hattiesburg, Mississippi.
But, an hour later there was a tragic accident. The car flipped during the collision, and Cambiotti was thrown out of the vehicle. Friends said he died immediately.
He joined the NOPD in 1997 and worked in Lakeview, the Ninth Ward, Central City and Uptown.
He was serving as second in command at the First District just outside the French Quarter at the time of the accident.
A memorial service was held at St. Louis Cathedral, with a visitation period from 10 a.m. until 12 p.m. The services were followed by a Mass.
Afterwards, a funeral procession passed the First District station at North Rampart and St. Louis streets, where officers from throughout the New Orleans area gathered, standing at attention in tribute.
Cambiotti will be buried in his hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.
Fellow officers set up a memorial fund at Gulf Coast Bank and Trust.