TUPELO, Miss. (WCBI) – Hundreds of law enforcement officers from across the country are in Tupelo, supporting the family of a fallen police officer.
On Friday, Sgt. Gale Stauffer was laid to rest.
He and Officer Joseph Maher were shot while chasing bank robbery suspects earlier this week.
Officers from across the country say they don’t mind making a long drive to honor a fallen brother in blue - Sgt. Stauffer.
“It’s a tragedy anytime an officer is lost in the line of duty, but it’s something that happens and we want to be there for the family and for the department whenever it does happen,” said Colin Green, Bartlett, Tennessee police department.
The Jackson, Mississippi police department already lost two of its own officers in the line of duty just this year.
“It brings back fresh memories, but at the same time, we’re here to show support,” said Colendula Green, Jackson police department. ”The patriotism and officers from all over the nation speaks volumes here.”
They say the funerals don’t get easier.
“I’ve been in law enforcement for 30 years, and I’ve been to too many of these,” said Chief Calvin Sellers, University of Mississippi police department. ”It’s tragic. The man leaves behind a wife and a family, and a large family of law enforcement that will all miss him.”
Even if they didn’t know Sgt. Stauffer personally.
“It means everything. This is all I can do to honor his memory and service,” Sellers said.
For someone who put his life on the line every day.
“It takes a special kind of person to do what he did and to do what we do as law enforcement officers,” said Lt. Richard Chandler, Southaven, Mississippi police department.
Tupelo’s police chief tells WCBI at least four states, including Mississippi, were represented at Friday’s funeral.