Fellow officers say he embodied the core values that make him an American hero.
They describe Whitson as a man of integrity, a trusted friend, a compassionate service man and most of all a dedicated father.
Draped in black with flowers from loved ones and passers by, a police cruiser sits outside the Bowling Green Police Department in memory of Master Police Officer David Whitson.
The outpouring of emotion from this Bowling Green community speaks volumes about the character of the man who is the first Bowling Green officer to be killed in the line of duty.
Chaplain Don Dorris rode with officer Whitson for the past 8 years and says their conversations centered around faith and family.
Fellow officers say he was a person everyone wanted for a friend.
Those closest to Whitson say he wore his badge with honor with a true sense of empathy and care.
Whitson believed in self-improvement and education they say he spoke often of going back to Western to obtain a Masters Degree.
Master Officer David Whitson will be sourly missed by those whose lives he touched but this hometown hero leaves a legacy of courage and unfaltering dedication to his family, community and country.
Whitson is survived by his wife Holly, his 8-year-old son Jacob and Hannah who turns five this month.
Jacob shares his same red curly hair and earned the nickname "little red" from the women who worked at "Dillard's."
Flags remain at half staff around the city and at all state buildings Whitson's honor.
Officer Whit son will be laid to rest in Crestview Cemetery in Gallatin, Tennessee.