PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – Members of law enforcement from across the nation, along with friends and family members, gathered at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano on Tuesday morning to pay their final respects to Det. Jerry Walker of the Little Elm Police Department.
As expected, the turnout was large. “It’s during times like these that we rely upon and draw strength upon that which matters most in life, namely our faith, out family and our friends,” said Dr. Jarrett Stephens with Prestonwood Baptist Church. “There is no doubt that Jerry will be missed by all who knew him and, of course, loved him.”
Flags across North Texas have been flying at half-staff since Walker was shot and killed on January 17. Communities have also been honoring the 47-year-old detective by tying large blue ribbons around trees.
Kim Schumacher said that the blue material in Little Elm was sold out, so she drove to Frisco to find enough to tie 120 ribbons along the route of a processional on Monday. “What he gave to us is a shared love of our community,” Schumacher said.
Walker’s death has been hard for many North Texans. Thousands of people turned out Monday afternoon to honor the father of four children. For miles, crowds lines the streets during the processional from Little Elm to the church in Plano, where a public viewing was held before Walker’s funeral service.
The fallen officer had served on the Little Elm police force since 1998. Walker leaves behind four kids raging in age from 2 months to 22 years old. He is the first officer killed in the line of duty in Little Elm Police Department’s history, and his badge number is being retired. Walker also served in the U.S. Army during Operation Desert Storm. He was laid to rest with military honors.
“Let me just put it in plain English,” explained Chief Rodney Harrison with the Little Elm Police Department. “Jerry got it. He understood it. He knew what customer service was. He knew how to reach out to people when they were in their darkest hour, no matter what they had done. He understood the compassion side of policing.”
“It’s a difficult job that we have,” said Ofc. David Tilley of the Plano Police Department, prior to the Tuesday service. “I think everyone recognizes that and, when we lose an officer in the line of duty, it’s something we all come together on.”
There will be another processional on Tuesday from Plano to Restland Memorial Park in Dallas, where Walker will ultimately be buried. “I want you to know, he did not die in vain,” Harrison added. “He died preserving. He was a peacemaker.”
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