BELTON, Texas (FOX 44) — The Bell County Sheriff’s Department held a dedication to honor the life of Deputy John Rhoden.

On April 26, 2020, Bell County Sheriff’s Deputy John Rhoden was killed in the line of duty while attempting to deploy spike strips during a pursuit of a stolen car.

A tractor trailer hit and killed Rhoden on I-35 in Bell County.

Now, his father shares why today’s ceremony is a bittersweet one for his family and the community.

“There’s no doubt in my mind that there would be support. I mean, John was that type of person. So I didn’t expect it to be no less than a great turnout. And I really appreciate everybody coming out to I mean, it’s it’s just it just shows the community support,” shared Michael Rhoden.

His father says John loved his job and serving the people of Central Texas.

Bell County is now home for Deputy Sheriff John Rhoden Memorial Highway.

Deputy John Roden’s 10 years of dedication, lead the Bell County’s Sheriff Department to raise funds for the new sign and get the designation naming passed by legislature.

Bell County Sheriff Eddy Lange expressed that police departments do what they can to make sure they persevere and take care of their own.

“From this day forward, as long as this road is in existence, the memory of Deputy John Rhoden will live on forever. Not only in our minds, but in the history books, on the maps, and the atlas, on google everywhere. Deputy John Rhodens name will live on forever,” said Sheriff Lange.

The highway designation was passed during the 87th Legislature under Texas House Bill 532 introduced by State Representative Hugh Shine and took effect September 1, 2021.

The Sheriff`s Department thanks Representative Shine for his work in getting this legislature passed.

Funding for the signage was provided through donations and the Bell County Sheriff`s Department Foundation.

The fleeing driver Deputy Rhoden was pursuing has been identified as Manuel Oscar Ramirez Junior and is charged with murder.

He is in the Bell County Jail awaiting trial.