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Antigo’s Police Chief reflects on post 9/11 experience in New York City

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Antigo, Wis. (WAOW) -- The 20th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks are fast approaching, and for many, that means a chance to reflect on their experiences surrounding the events of that day.

Antigo's Police Chief, Eric Roller, is one of those people.

Just an officer at the time, Roller was one of a group selected to head to New York City just a week after the attacks. He and his fellow officers went to help the NYPD wherever they needed it.

"I was honored to go, lucky I was chosen. At that point, there were still a lot of threats coming in, they weren't sure if there was gonna be more attacks, more things happening," Roller said.

Nearly 20 years later, and Roller still remembers what it was like to be there.

"You still feel that feeling, you smell that smell," he said. "You just picture yourself walking up to it, and in awe of the damage, and the loss of lives that were there."

He spent time helping show police presence at the United Nations, downtown, and Times Square.

Roller also got a chance to see ground zero up close.

"We were able to see the horrific damage and the disaster that was out there."

And nearly two decades later, even though he wasn't there on the day of the attacks, he says his experience there changed him.

"I mean, it's just emotional to see that. I think it changes you, gives you a different perspective on life, and how you look at things, and you value things a little different, and realize that things do change. An innocent day can change in a heartbeat," Roller said.

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