Hundreds of people packed the forecourt of the Unified Government building on Tuesday to pay their respects to a Kansas City, Kan., police detective who died in the line of duty Monday.
The candlelight vigil drew many police officers, but even more citizens, including men, women and children who stood mostly in silence before joining in prayer and singing “Amazing Grace.”
Unified Government Commissioner Harold Walker noted how large the crowd was Tuesday.
“It speaks volumes, not only about Detective Lancaster, but about the people we are,” Walker said.
Mayor Mark Holland was away on business Monday but was making plans to return, Walker said. The family asked the mayor to officiate the funeral Saturday, which will be held at 11 a.m. at Children’s Mercy Park, at 1 Sporting Way in Kansas City, Kan.
On Friday a visitation will be held at 4 p.m. at Trinity Community Church at 5010 Parallel Parkway.
Flags stood at half-staff along North Seventh Street, which was blocked off for the event. A police officer and two children handed out small white candles at the entrance. Firefighters and elected officials from around the Kansas City area joined the crowd.
Lancaster was a nine-year member of the Kansas City, Kan., Police Department. He was an Air Force veteran who formerly worked for the Platte County sheriff’s office.
Kansas City, Kan., Police Chief Terry Zeigler thanked the public for an outpouring of support for the police department.
“Tonight and the next few days are going to be difficult for us as a city, as a community and an agency,” Zeigler said. “We’re going to have to lean on each other.”