INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (March 23, 2016)-- Less than 24 hours after Howard County Deputy Carl Koontz was shot and killed while serving a warrant at a Russiaville trailer home, a volunteer team of twelve current and former police officers from around the state rolled into Kokomo, ready to handle the aftermath of the terrible tragedy.
“We start off from the very beginning from the time of their loss explaining what is taking place, all the way through until we arrive at the cemetery for the committal services,” says Joe Hamer chairman of the state critical incident memorial committee.
The Indiana State Critical Incident Memorial team plans all funeral arrangements for the family and the department of a fallen officer. An emotional job that must be done in a very short amount of time.
“Every minute does matter, but it is the team work from the community and the agency that makes it happen,” said Hamer.
The memorial team met with the Koontz family and the Howard County Sheriff’s department to plan the services for the fallen hero.
“The family has requested full honors,” said Hamer.
Those honors include having a vigil guard with Deputy Koontz body 24/7 and when the 27-year-old hero’s body is moved, he will be draped with an American flag. Dozens of officers and citizens will line every roadway until Deputy Koontz is laid to rest.
“When we get to the cemetery, there will be bag pipes, a riderless horse, color team, walking guards, taps, and a firing party,” said Hamer.
The team is expecting around 2,000 people to take part in the memorial service next week. The groups main goal is to make sure every last detail is perfect for the Koontz family, while they say goodbye to the hero who they will never forget.
“When the funeral is over and the family is sitting at home, we don’t go back to our homes and forget about this family. The Koontz family is with us forever,” said Hamer.
Visitation is Monday, March 28, from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Northwestern High School. The funeral is Tuesday, March 29, at 11 a.m. at the high school. Burial will follow at Albright Cemetery in Kokomo.