EUGENE, Ore. - Thousands of people are expected at a memorial service Friday honoring Officer Chris Kilcullen, the Eugene Police Officer shot and killed April 22 in the line of duty.
Hundreds or thousands more are expected along the procession route, which could include more than 900 emergency vehicles. >>> See maps detailing the procession route | >>> Info about shuttles, detours, bus routes
"This is going to be a memorial service that honors Officer Kilcullen and that allows our Eugene community to be present and that allows our law enforcement community, our police, opportunity to pay him the respect and to remember his wonderful life in the best possible way," Chief Pete Kerns said.
Kerns said the department has been working closely with Kilcullen's family.
"The family is very familiar with what his wishes would have been and communicating those to us," he said.
"The first thing that happens either when an officer sustains a serious injury or dies or is killed in the line of duty, the very first thing is we assign a liason to the family to aid in the decision making and to help," the chief explained. "So the department in this case, people just way beyond our department can help provide for their needs. That liason is with them constantly, and so we know precisely what their wishes are in terms of the procession and the ceremony."
The Univesity of Oregon volunteered Matthew Knight Arena for the memorial, and other entities have stepped forward to help Eugene with the details.
"It's going to be a large and complex day," Kerns said. "Police funerals attract police officers from all over the state, all over this region of the United States and perhaps even some from other countries, and they often bring their patrol cars.
"A recent line of duty death funeral in the Portland area involved a procession that included about 650-700 patrol cars, so we need to have a staging area for what could be a thousand cars that would be involved in a procession here in Eugene," the chief said. "We are going to have a procession route that allows the family to go by some key locations and along some key stretches of roadway."
The City of Eugene announced the procession route on Wednesday.
For Oregonians and others who wish to pay their respects but are unable to attend the 2 p.m. memorial in person, KVAL News plans to stream video of the services online at KVAL.com/news/live in partnership with KATU.com in Portland.