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Slain Officer to be Given Grand Military Memorial

Slain Officer to be Given Grand Military Memorial

The last funeral for a slain Indianapolis police officer was that of Timothy "Jake" Laird, killed in 2004. He was buried at Crown Hill, where officer David Moore will be laid to rest.

Indianapolis Star via YellowBrix

January 30, 2011

INDIANAPOLIS – Military traditions befitting a lost warrior will be on full display Tuesday as the city marks the funeral of a fallen police officer.

Bagpipes, a 21-gun salute and a rider-less horse will be among the symbolic gestures to help the family of officer David Moore in their grief, along with his police comrades and the community at large.

Planners with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and the Fraternal Order of Police held meetings all week as requests from police and fire departments wanting to take part poured in from across the country.

“This is a huge undertaking because so many people want to be a part of it,” said retired IMPD Deputy Chief Danny Overley, one of the organizers. “Police are like family and want to help out.”

The funeral will take most of the day, with almost every IMPD officer participating. IMPD reserves, the Indiana State Police and officers from Beech Grove, Speedway and Lawrence will patrol Indianapolis in the meantime, said Sgt. Don Weilhamer, who is in charge of the IMPD Honor Guard.

Indianapolis has been mourning Moore’s death informally since Tuesday, when police officials announced he would not recover from shots fired during a traffic stop Jan. 23 on the city’s Eastside. Flags have been lowered to half staff, and many people have traveled to the IMPD North District headquarters on East 30th Street to place flowers and stuffed animals on Moore’s car.

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IMPD Officer David Moore

Fellow police officers have placed black bands over their badges and black flags on the antennas of their squad cars to remember Moore.

Formal funeral activities will begin Monday with a public calling for Moore from 2 to 8 p.m. at Crown Hill Funeral Home and Cemetery, 700 W. 38th St.

On Tuesday, Moore’s body will be driven from Crown Hill to Conseco Fieldhouse at 8:30 a.m.

Organizers said the service will begin at 11 a.m. and expect it to last two hours. Relatives, friends and city officials will remember Moore with speeches.

Moore’s father, retired IMPD Lt. Spencer Moore, is among those expected to speak.

After the funeral, a procession led by an IMPD car and followed by the cars of visiting departments will lead Moore back to Crown Hill. The hearse and a limousine carrying Moore’s family will follow behind those carrying city officials.

The procession will first stop at the IMPD North District, where a ceremonial last “roll call” will be transmitted over the police radio.

Overley could not estimate how many vehicles would be in the procession but said that during the last funeral for a slain police officer — that of Timothy “Jake” Laird in 2004 — the procession was five miles long.

Moore’s procession is expected to arrive at Crown Hill by late afternoon. A caisson, or open-air wagon, on loan from the Indiana National Guard will await Moore’s arrival at the 34th Street entrance.

Pallbearers from the IMPD honor guard will carry the flag-draped casket from the hearse and put it onto the caisson.

Staff Sgt. Jacob Cash, of the Military Department of Indiana Ceremonial Unit, Caisson Division, said caissons were used in the pre-automobile age to carry ammunition into battle. They were also used to carry dead and wounded soldiers off the battlefield, he said.

Lt. Becky Lake, commander of IMPD’s mounted unit, and other officers in her unit will be grooming their horses at the cemetery, awaiting the procession.

“We have to keep them clean and neat,” she said. “They’ll give us a warning one last time when they are five minutes out, and we’ll give them one last brushing.”

A draft cross horse named Baker with IMPD’s mounted unit will follow, riderless, representing the missing officer. A pair of equestrian boots, facing backward, will be in Baker’s stirrups.

“It’s a military tradition, representing a lost warrior, and police departments are quasi-military organizations,” Lake said.

Moore will be buried near the Heroes of Public Safety Memorial in Section 97. The IMPD Honor Guard will lower the casket into its final resting place.

Riflemen will fire 21 shots into the air.

About 18 members of the Indianapolis Firefighters Emerald Society Pipes and Drums also will be waiting, in kilts, with belts carrying the traditional sporran pouches. They also will have glengarries, Scottish caps worn by Highlanders as part of military dress.

“Historically, in Europe, the bagpipers were the equivalent of a cavalry and were used to lead the troops into battle,” said Jeff Taylor, a member of the band.

Overley said that from any police department’s perspective, public-safety officials’ funerals are large and filled with tradition out of necessity.

“It provides a lot of comfort for the families, knowing that their loved ones did not die in vain and that they are admired by the people they served.”


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