INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — It’s been a tough week for law enforcement in central Indiana after the loss of Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department’s Deputy Chief Jim Waters and Southport Police Department’s Lt. Aaron Allan.
The Indianapolis Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 86 said the situation is unique; members can’t remember the last time they’ve had to plan back-to-back funerals for officers.
Waters’ visitation will be from 3-8 p.m. Tuesday at Crown Hill followed by a funeral at 11 a.m. Wednesday.
Allan’s visitation will be from 2-7 p.m. Friday at Crown Hill followed by a funeral at 11 a.m. Saturday.
They’re working to make sure both men are honored and remembered for the impact they had on the communities they served.
“It takes a lot of moving pieces to make all of this come together,” said Rick Snyder, president of the Indianapolis FOP.
These funerals will not be small events. Both will be held at Bankers Life Fieldhouse and both will focus on the way these officers lived, rather than the way they died.
“It is their work and their commitments and their service to this community over so many years that is recognized and really held up by the community,” Snyder said.
According to Snyder, Indiana’s state FOP has a critical incident team that is stepping in to help with planning. They don’t want either funeral to overshadow the other. They said there will be differences between the two.
“With Deputy Chief Waters’ family, by their request, they had requested some differences be done with his funeral … really out of deference to the Allan family for his line-of-duty sacrifice,” Snyder said.
In addition to subtle and ceremonial differences, Snyder said the family of Waters asked that his funeral not be broadcast or streamed live.
Both funerals are open to the public, though, and community members are being asked to line the procession route. Businesses, churches and other organizations can also post messages on their signs out front. Those will be photographed and shared with the officers’ families.
“Just being present as the officer and the procession pass by leave a very long-lasting impact not only on the family, but also on law enforcement officers in general,” Snyder said.
He said it is one way the people these officers served can say thank you for their service.
You can continue to show support for law enforcement and their families even after the funerals are over, by putting a blue light in your window or porch lamp. The FOP said it means a lot to the officers who dedicate their lives to protecting others.