Officer Eric Lamont Bamberg remembered

City of Bamberg Police Officer and Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, School Resource Officer (SRO) Eric Lamont Bamberg loved Bamberg. In fact, on many occasions he would boast to those that didn’t know him well that he “owned the town”.

On Friday afternoon, August 20, 2010, in the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Gymnasium, the City of Bamberg, Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School and fellow law enforcement officers from across the state came out by the hundreds to paid their final respects to Bamberg, who it was noted, was known by several names including; “Eric, E. B., Officer Bamberg and P-Funk.”

Officer Eric Bamberg belonged to many groups in his life and on Friday those groups came to pay their respect to the man they loved. There was the Class of 1991; the 1990 Class–AA Division II State Championship football team that Bamberg quarterbacked to the state title; the 301 Express Motorcycle Club and a large contingency of uniform law enforcement officers that filled one side of the B-E gym floor.

“If I had only one gift today it would be the ability to let Eric see himself as others saw him,” Bamberg School District One Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting said. “Only then would he see what a special person he was to so many of us here today,” Schwarting added.

Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Principal Randy Maxwell said of the 11-year (SRO) that he was “perfect in his job.” Maxwell said that Bamberg was “wonderful in dealing with tense situations and was always there, loyal and dedicated.”

Bamberg Police Chief George Morris said working in the school as (SRO) was Bamberg’s talent and “he was good at it.” Morris said that he was an old man now, but Eric Bamberg taught him a lot. “Yes, I’m better off because I knew Eric.” Morris encouraged the young officers in attendance to “make friends, have that positive attitude, it will take you through tough times.”

City of Bamberg Police Commissioner and former teammate Buzzy Bunch spoke of Eric Bamberg the athlete. “He defined sports, he defined being an athlete and he defined the Red Raiders,” Bunch said.

Former teammate and fellow law enforcement officer Trey Benton said there were only a few people when their name is mentioned concerning football in Bamberg you don’t have to mention their last names and they are Coach Leon Maxwell and Eric Bamberg. “He was touched by the hand of God,” Benton said. Benton closed his emotional tribute with: “2386 to Bravo 5 everything is 10-4 everything is well.”

Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Media Specialist Libby Bryant said “Eric was B-E, a friend and protector, he loved being here and forever he will be a part of B-E.”

Larry Cann, another former teammate of Bamberg’s said “Eric Bamberg made me a better man and a better person.”

Former B-E legendary head coach Leon Maxwell remembered Bamberg as an “outstanding athlete and person, who did the expected as well as the unexpected,” in highlights some of Bamberg’s feats on the football field.

The final tribute came from Eric’s brother Willie Bamberg, who jokingly called Eric the “second best football player” to come out of B-E. Willie Bamberg said his younger brother could have played in the National Football League (NFL) but chose to come back to Bamberg.

“His calling was not to play pro football, but to come to Bamberg and become a school resource officer. He changed more lives here than he could’ve touched in the NFL.”