Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

LAID TO REST ; Topeka Gives Tearful Final Salute to Cpl. Harwood

Newspaper article The Topeka Capital-Journal

LAID TO REST ; Topeka Gives Tearful Final Salute to Cpl. Harwood

Article excerpt

As family, friends and colleagues of Topeka police Cpl. Jason Harwood said their final farewells inside the Kansas Expocentre on Saturday morning, the city of Topeka was busy outside preparing for the procession that would carry Harwood's body to his final resting place.

Motorcycles from the Patriot Guard and other groups lined S.W. Topeka Boulevard in front of the Kansas Expocentre. Fifty motorcycles from Kansas and Missouri law enforcement agencies waited quietly as Harwood's two-hour funeral was conducted. Fifty flags were placed in front of Topeka Harley-Davidson shop, and members of Shawnee County's Community Emergency Response Team helped block traffic along the procession route.

Hundreds of people with signs, banners and American flags lined Gage Boulevard from S.W. 21st to S.W. 6th.

In front of the Expocentre, a huge flag suspended from two Topeka Fire Department ladder trucks fluttered in the breeze.

Brian Beckwith and his two sons, Jacob Long, 7, and Josh Long, 7, waited patiently as the funeral got underway about 11 a.m.

"I'm trying to show my boys some respect," Beckwith said. "It makes me feel bad to see what the city is coming to with these bad criminals."

Earlier in the day, Beckwith's sons had taken part in a Topeka Police Athletic League football game. Beckwith said though his kids are young, he has been talking to them about Harwood's death.

Shari Youngman, of Topeka, and one of her friends set up a table not far from where motorcycle officers were stationed. They had sandwiches, chips and other snacks and were quick to offer food to passersby.

"We just want to be supportive," Youngman said. "We want to show our respect and appreciation for what they do for our community."

Youngman and her friend said they were shocked to hear about another officer's death. …

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