THE FINAL FAREWELL: END OF WATCH
The funeral service for slain Polk County Sheriff's Deputy Matt Williams and his K-9 partner Diogi was held Tuesday in Lakeland. Thousands of mourners, including law enforcement officers from throughout Florida and beyond, gathered to remember the veteran who was killed in the line of duty last Thursday.
The procession of police vehicles that travelled from Victory Assembly of God Church to the interrment at Auburndale Memorial Cemetary was over an hour long, and several miles in length. Hundreds, if not thousands, of residents lined the 12-mile route to watch and pay their respects.
There were also a number of retired law enforcement officers from other states who now make their home in the Central Florida area who came to pay their respects. But what I thought especially moving was that a group of active lawmen from Waveland and Hancock County, Mississippi were present. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last year, a group from the Polk County Sheriff's Office travelled to the hard hit coastal area and spent a month assisting their brother and sister officers.
The Lakeland Ledger website, in it's coverage of yesterday's rememberance, includes a very moving multimedia slideshow with pictures and sound from the funeral, procession, and the interrment service. They are to be commended for a wonderful job done with a lot of care.