Pontiac Hosts Candlelight Vigil for Fallen Officer Kohlmeier

Published 05/13 2014 10:09PM

Updated 05/13 2014 10:26PM

PONTIAC - More than six months have passed since Officer Casey Kohlmeier and his beloved K9 partner Draco were killed in a car crash, and on Tuesday night, community members showed how their passion still burns for the fallen heroes.

"With evens like tonight, you can tell that people still miss him and you expect that,” said Maj. Dan Davis of the Pontiac Police Department.

With his family in Washington, D.C., attending a national ceremony, honoring the 107 officers lost in the line of duty in 2013, hundreds of others gathered inside First United Methodist Church in Pontiac to remember Kohlmeier, and the two other police officers Illinois lost last year.

"It's surreal, really. It's still you just don't believe it,” said Sam Fitzpatrick, deputy for the Livingston County Sheriff’s Department. “It's still just so fresh to me in my mind, so it's hard to see."

For Livingston County chief deputy Tony Childress, who's known Kohlmeier since Casey was a child, it was a moment he'll never forget.

"It's a very, very humbling, solemn experience for me,” said Childress.

And as members of the two departments that Kohlmeier touched so much lit the candles to honor his memory, organizers of this night hope his legacy will never fade away.

"I don't ever want him to be forgotten. So, my goal is that his stories don't ever go away,” said Sam Fitzpatrick.

"I hope he's proud of us for what we're doing, because we're proud of him,” said Judy Fitzpatrick, one of the organizers of the night.

Tuesday's ceremony was supposed to run at the same time as Washington D.C., but that one was delayed due to weather.

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