Hundreds honor fallen officer - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Hundreds honor fallen officer

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Posted: Monday, October 2, 2006 6:02 am | Updated: 3:53 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Tiny flames glowed in the hands of hundreds who gathered at a vigil Sunday to remember fallen Tempe police officer Kevin Weeks.

A photo of Weeks faced the crowd in front of Tempe’s police substation on Hardy Drive south of Elliot Road. Relatives of the officer embraced and sobbed as Eric Clapton’s song “Tears in Heaven” played quietly over the speakers. One woman kissed the poster of Weeks’ face.

“Sometimes it just hurts, and silence is really the only response,” said the Rev. Joe O’Donnell, “but when death happens tragically, even silence is inadequate.”

Weeks, 28, was killed Thursday when his motorcycle struck construction materials and crashed on southbound Loop 101. He had served the police department since 1999 and had won numerous awards for arresting drunken drivers.

“Times like this give the public an opportunity to see what the police officers and firefighters do for us on a daily basis,” said Mary King, 40, of Phoenix, who attended the vigil. “You’re out there living your life and you don’t always think about what they do for us.”

Leading the procession at Weeks’ vigil were his mother, father and sister. About a dozen other family members and close friends followed them.

Several of Weeks’ fellow motorcycle officers rode in a line to the front of the mourners, where they held candles in his name.

“When something like this happens, it’s a terrible tragedy for the whole department and the whole family,” said Bob Russo, 63, of Tempe, whose son is a Chandler officer.

After a closing prayer, the crowd extinguished their candles and many dropped their heads and embraced. They moved toward Weeks’ family and enveloped them in hugs.

Weeks was the first officer to die in Tempe in almost 20 years.

Kevin Weeks services

Memorial service When: 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday (viewing)

Where: Grace Community Church, 1200 E. Southern Ave., Tempe

Funeral service When: 10 a.m. Thursday

Where: Grace Community Church, 1200 E. Southern Ave., Tempe

Note: Immediately following the funeral service, there will be a procession to Valley of the Sun Cemetery, 10940 E. Chandler Heights Road, Chandler, for graveside services.

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