NEW ORLEANS-- Under perfectly clear skies, New Orleans Police Officers gathered at St. Louis Cathedral for a final good-bye to Lt. Christopher Cambiotti. He died in car accident while on his way to Hattiesburg, Mississippi on Saturday, after being thrown from the vintage car he was riding in.
"Chris had an amazing career. He was incredibly popular," said New Orleans Police Supt. Ronal Serpas. "He was a good man."
In his 15 years with the NOPD, Lt. Cambiotti worked in districts that encompass the distinct neighborhoods of the city: from the Ninth Ward to Uptown and from Central City to Lakeview. He also served as a district liaison to Crimestoppers.
"He did an unbelievable job. He was always right on," said Darlene Cusanza of Crimestoppers. "And funny - he had a great disposition, a great personality, but very conscientious. He really took what he did seriously."
Lt. Cambiotti most recently served in the NOPD's First District, which borders the French Quarter. After the funeral mass, a procession made its way from the Cathedral, past the district headquarters. Officers lined up for a final salute and people who knew him from his work in the community came to pay their respects, too.
"I guess a lot of people just don't realize how much time these police officers really do put in and help all of us to create a really good atmosphere for people to come down and have a good time in the French Quarter, both local and the visitors and so forth-- but especially Lt. Chris," said June Fallo of the Court of Two Sisters Restaurant.
"The most important thing we do is make a difference for the people we serve," Supt. Serpas said. "And there is really nothing higher in our service than that kind of recognition by the people."
Lt. Cambiotti will be laid to rest in his hometown of Bethlehem, Pennsylvania.