LITTLE ELM, Texas - Friends, family and fellow police officers gathered Tuesday morning to honor the memory of Little Elm Officer Jerry Walker.
Hundreds of people attended the funeral service at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano. WATCH: http://bit.ly/2jaTyUo
Little Elm Police Chief Rodney Harrison talked about Officer Walker’s 18 years of service. He graduated from the police academy in 1995 and joined the Little Elm Police Department in 1998.
Over the years he served as a patrol officer, patrol supervisor, school resource officer and narcotics detective. Walker was also a member of the department’s SWAT team and a certified hostage negotiator.
But most importantly, Chief Harrison said Walker “got it.”
“He knew how to reach out to people when they were in their darkest hour no matter what they had done. He understood the compassion side of policing,” the chief said.
Over the past few days, there has been an outpouring of stories from people Officer Walker has touched throughout his career. He turned lives around, and he did it by just being himself.
“It’s simply amazing,” Harrison said.
Lt. Brad Wilcox said he met Walker in a grocery store in 1998. The two ended up on the force together and spent countless hours riding ATVs in the woods with their wives and kids.
Wilcox looked at Walker's four children during the service and said Walker would light up every time he talked about them. They range in age from 22 to just a few months old.
"Jerry loved his children very much and he did everything he could to spend as much time with them as he could. So in the next few days, weeks and months that come along, I want all y'all to remember Det. Walker. But I'm asking you never to forget my friend, Jerry," Wilcox said.
Dallas Police Sgt. Ivan Gunter knows the depth of the loss firsthand. Three of his colleagues were shot and killed in the July 7 police ambush.
"This is hard for anyone. You're never really over it, but you learn how to deal with it," he said. "We want them to know their back and we understand. They're not alone in this fight."
Walker was shot last Tuesday as he responded to a call of a man with a gun in a neighborhood. He is the first Little Elm police officer to be killed in the line of duty.
Thousands of people lined the streets as his body was taken from a funeral home to the church for a public visitation Monday night.
“It’s so amazing to see so many people come out. People who had no connection to Officer Walker, no connection whatsoever to come out just because of the sacrifice he made. It’s absolutely overwhelming,” said Little Elm Mayor David Hillock.
Walker was buried at Restland Dallas after the service.