Franklin police officer suffers serious injury in fall

Published 12:04 pm Thursday, December 4, 2014

On Nov. 22, while preparing for the holiday season, Albert Herdeg, a patrol corporal with the Franklin Police Department, was hanging up lights on the roof of his two-story home. The ladder collapsed while he was up there, causing him to fall approximately 25 feet from the ground, said Franklin Police Chief Phil Hardison.



The single father of three suffered a terrible, life-changing injury as a result of the fall and was taken to Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, said Hardison.

“Any time a member of our family is hurt on or off the job, it impacts us,” the chief said. “I don’t think it makes a difference if it is on or off the job.”

Herdeg, a veteran of the United States Navy, has faithfully served the residents of the city of Franklin for the past eight years, said Hardison. Herdeg rose to the position of corporal with the police department demonstrating through his actions the values of honor, integrity, courage and commitment.

The neurosurgeons at Sentara Norfolk General Hospital have indicated the injuries that Herdeg sustained in his fall are similar to those experienced by the late actor Christopher Reeves.

Hardison said Herdeg has been a model employee for the eight years he has served in Franklin.

“He has been a good friend to all in our organization and the members of this community,” he said of the father of three boys, ages 12, 17 and 19. “He has shown extreme compassion to members of the community in terms of how he deals with problem-solving.”

Herdeg has now found himself needing some of the support that he has given, Hardison said.

“Most importantly, he needs prayers as he recovers,” he said. “It is going to be a long way back.”

The support and financial needs of the Herdeg family are great. As a single parent, the continued living expenses of day-to-day life are great enough without the additional burdens placed upon them through this incident. Whatever assistance can be provided is greatly appreciated as we endeavor to take on projects such as the building of accessibility ramps, remodeling areas of the home for accessibility, providing transportation, and meeting the responsibilities that come from the cost of medical care.

The chief has also established a fund for him through the Bronco Federal Credit Union.

“Any contribution would be appreciated from anyone who would like to contribute at this time,” Hardison said. “It is under his name, Albert Herdeg, for anyone who would be interested.”

The loss of an officer on the patrol division will be a challenge for his organization, but Hardison is more worried about the care that his officer will receive in recovering.

The Franklin City Council also expressed support at their regularly scheduled meeting on Monday.

“We are all family,” said Mayor Raystine Johnson-Ashburn. “It hurts all of us whenever a family member is in distress. If there is anything we can do as a council, please let us know.”

Corporal Joshua Butts is FPD’s agency liaison coordinating fund raising efforts. Butts can be reached at or by phone at 562-8575.

“Any support you are able to provide is greatly appreciated,” Hardison said.