The child of a beloved Lexington activist is carrying on his mother’s legacy in a new role. 22-year-old Ricardo Franklin is the son of the late Anita Rowe Franklin.
The mother and nurse began working with the Fayette County Sheriff’s Office after her son, Antonio Franklin Jr. became a victim of gun violence.
Ricardo Franklin is assuming the responsibilities of his mother’s job as the office’s community outreach coordinator. His role involves fostering the connection between the community and law enforcement.
“It started out with trying to cope with my brother’s passing, and then it turned into something I don’t think she even imagined it could turn into,” Franklin said.
Franklin said he was proudest of his mother when she organized a peace walk following his brother’s death. He kept up with the tradition, working with the sheriff’s office to host the walk in September.
“I could still hear her sometimes just telling me ‘You’re doing right, just keep doing and it’s all going to work out.’”
He’s no stranger to this office. Franklin interned for Sheriff Kathy H. Witt, and he said the skills he learned make him qualified to get the job done.
“Crisis management, how to take on events that maybe aren’t in my favor, how to deal with that in the workplace, it really taught me a lot,” he said.
The college graduate said he knows he’s stepping into the role during a very fractured time in history.
“Right now is a very sensitive time in America, and as we saw the election just took place, and how I was raised, no matter your skin color, where you’re from, who you are, you just got to love each other,” Franklin said.
He said healing relationships starts with conversation, and he’s ready to listen, like his mother taught him to do.
“She always talked about me being the one to take over when she wants to step down and unfortunately, circumstances happened in February and I had to step up,” he said.
Franklin said he will work to be on the front lines, like his mother was, letting people know he’s there for them, as he tries to make Lexington a safer place for everyone.