TOPEKA – A Topeka law enforcement officer will be laid to rest Saturday, nearly a week after he was killed during a car stop.
Cpl. Jason Harwood was to lie in state from 3 to 6 p.m. Friday in Exhibition Hall at the Kansas Expocentre in Topeka ahead of his funeral Saturday morning.
On Thursday, officers from the Kansas Highway Patrol, the Topeka Police Department and several other departments gathered at a Topeka church Thursday as the U.S. Honor Flag was delivered to his family and friends, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported.
The flag was brought from Texas to Kansas, where members of the Topeka Police Department honor guard carried it into the church.
The flag was supposed to be at a Sept. 11 anniversary event, but U.S. Honor Flag founder and CEO Chris Heisler said it was important to bring it for Harwood’s funeral. It will rest at his side until he is buried.
“We have a relationship with the city of Topeka,” Heisler said.
Harwood was the third Topeka police officer to die on duty in the last two years. In December 2012, Cpl. David Gogian and Officer Jeff Atherly were investigating reported drug activity at a grocery store when they were fatally shot. The honor flag was also carried during their funerals.
“We are a little bit numb,” Topeka police officer Steven Block, an honor guard member, said at the flag event Thursday. “This department has had a lot of tragedies in a short amount of time.”
The flag has traveled 7 million miles to various funerals for law enforcement officers and others since shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.
Harwood, 40, was a decorated 15-year police veteran shot after he pulled over a car Sunday. Ross Preston Lane, 30, is charged with capital murder in his death. He is being held without bond and his attorney has declined to comment. He’s due back in court Sept. 25. Authorities haven’t said why Harwood stopped Lane’s car.