Middletown officers head to Dallas to attend police funerals

(WTNH / Tina Detelj)

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. (WTNH)– Two of the five Dallas police officers killed in the ambush attack will be laid to rest today, the other three over the next few days. Right now, police officers from our area on their way to Dallas.

The people who choose to risk their lives in uniform are part of a brotherhood and sisterhood. When one of them pays the ultimate price, officers come from all over, and this time everything is multiplied by five.

 

Related: Local officers plan to attend police funerals in Dallas

News 8’s Kent Pierce was in Middletown where the town’s department will be showing support for their fallen brothers by heading to Dallas to attend the funerals. The officer gathered around 5:30 a.m. It was the start of a long journey. They are going from Middletown to Bradley International Airport, connecting through Denver and then on to Dallas. It makes for a long day, but police officers feel compelled to make trips like this when fellow officers fall in the line of duty.

“And this one was especially tough to watch and hear about because it was so dramatic and so intense and so just awful,” said Middletown Officer Anthony Knapp.

A sniper killed 5 officers in Dallas as they kept the peace at a protest march against police killings in Louisiana and Minnesota. Shootings by police, and shootings of of police, are always in the thoughts of officers everywhere, they just learn to deal with it.

You kind of put it in the back of your mind and you lock it away,” explained Middletown Sgt. Frank Scirpo. “It’s there, but you can’t let it affect how you deal with the everyday citizen for most part. You kind of unlock that spot when time comes to deal with the evil that we see.”

“One of those jobs that you have to love it, and we all love it and that’s why we do it,” said Officer Knapp. “Most people run away from gunfire, we’re running toward gunfire and most of us want to help people.”

Related: Obama pays tribute to Dallas officers shot in racial attack

Sometimes the worst happens. Middletown Sergeant George Dingwall died in a crash as he was chasing suspects 16 years ago. His funeral drew officers from all over New England.

“I was in the academy. I remember the knock on the door like it was yesterday,” said Knapp.

A dozen members of the Middletown force will be at the funerals in Dallas, thanks to free flights from the airlines, and fundraising from the community.

“Actually, if it weren’t for everybody in this community, this trip wouldn’t have happened, and the support of our chief and our mayor, giving us the time off and supporting us,” said Sgt. Doug Clark. “If it wasn’t for them and the community, this trip wouldn’t have happened.”

With Southwest and JetBlue flying the officers for free, the donation go to other expenses like hotel rooms and rental cars. The Middletown officers won’t make it for the two funerals today, they just couldn’t make arrangements fast enough, but there are three more over the next three days.

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