Local police officers plan to attend slain Walker officer’s funeral

Becky Vargo • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:10 AM

Freeman said the department’s honor guard of six officers will be attending the funeral, as will nine other members of the force — “some on duty, some off,” she said.

“Everyone is committed to either visitation or the funeral,” she said.

Slot, 41, a court officer for the Walker Police Department, was setting stop strips on Interstate 96 in Ottawa County on Oct. 13 when he was struck and killed by a car containing two robbery suspects who were fleeing from police. The suspects were killed in a shoot-out with police moments later at the Eighth Avenue exit off westbound I-96 near Marne.

Freeman said GHDPS officers will be leaving their department at about 9:15 a.m. Friday to head to the law enforcement staging area.

“It seems like yesterday, when stuff like this happens,” she said.

Freeman was referring to the death of GHDPS officer Scott Flahive on Dec. 13, 1994. The 28-year-old officer was killed after stopping a getaway car containing an escapee from the Ottawa County Jail.

Three or four officers from the Spring Lake/Ferrysburg Police Department will also be attending the funeral, said Sgt. Curt Theune. He said they will probably meet the group from Grand Haven and caravan with them.

“That shows some solidarity among law enforcement,” Theune said. “We will also meet up with other agencies, depending on the route.”

The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Department will have a visible presence at the funeral.

“Our honor guard will be assisting at the funeral, ushering,” said Lt. Steve Kempker. “The rest of the staff will be assisting with officer lineup at the graveside service.”

Kempker said they are expecting up to 1,000 police officers, firefighters and governmental representatives at the service.

Because of those numbers, the Sheriff’s Department will also be helping with traffic control points along the funeral procession route, and with security at the cemetery.

Sgt. Keith Koeman, director of the OCSD Reserves, said Wednesday that he had 20 reserves signed up so far to work the funeral.

“We’ll have the mounted unit (horses) and reserves doing security at the cemetery and for traffic along the route,” Koeman said.

Koeman said many of the reserve officers want to be involved because they want to show respect.

“Many are taking time off work,” he said. “That shows how much this means to them. They know this can happen to any one of us.”

Kempker said that the OCSD goal was to take as much work off the Walker Police Department as possible. He said he’s been meeting with representatives of multiple police agencies all week to plan for the funeral.

Kempker said he expects the procession to be traveling from the church to the cemetery between 3 and 3:30 p.m. Friday. The procession should be exiting the cemetery between 5:15 and 5:45 p.m. This will be in the area of M-45 from Eighth Avenue into Standale.

“If people are traveling the area, they will see some interruptions,” Kempker said.

Because of potential traffic issues, some of the area schools are dismissing early or not holding afternoon kindergarten, Kempker said.

“We’ll have a pretty large contingent that is going,” said Ottawa County Sheriff Gary Rosema. But “first and foremost, we are going to continue to maintain service” to the county.

Rosema said the duty shifts will not be allowed to go to the funeral. All office functions will remain open and the jail will not be affected, he said.

Rosema noted that the department was involved in the Oct. 13 chase, and that they are providing support for the officers who were on the scene of the accident and the shooting.

Two OCSD officers remain on administrative leave, which is a formality, Rosema said. “We are under the process of reviewing the entire situation,” he said.

“Everybody who was involved in the event that day really has an interest in attending the memorial,” Rosema said. “I’ll be there representing our organization, as will Undersheriff Greg Steigenga and our contingent of officers.”

Rosema said it was hard to put the feelings of local law enforcement into words.

“It’s a terrible loss to the Walker PD and the family,” he said. “Whenever you have an officer lost in the line of duty, it’s pretty significant.”

The funeral service for Trevor Slot will be held at 1 p.m. Friday at Resurrection Life Church, at corner of 52nd Street and Ivanrest S.W. in Wyoming. The graveside service will follow at Rosedale Cemetery.

The procession will leave the church on 52nd Street and head west to Ivanrest. Residents are welcomed to line the route and pay their respects to Officer Slot.

• Turn north on Ivanrest to 28th Street.

• Turn west on 28th Street to Wilson Avenue.

• Continue north on Wilson Avenue to Lake Michigan Drive (M-45).

• Turn east on Lake Michigan Drive (M-45) to Kinney Avenue. N.W.

• Turn north on Kinney to Leonard Street.

• Turn east on Leonard to Remembrance Road N.W.

• Turn north on Remembrance to Wilson Avenue.

• Turn south on Wilson to Leonard.

• Turn west on Leonard to Eighth Avenue.

• Turn south on Eighth Avenue to Lake Michigan Drive.

• Turn east on Lake Michigan Drive to the entrance of Rosedale Cemetery.

Flags to be lowered Friday

Gov. Rick Snyder ordered U.S. flags to be lowered on Friday, the day of Trevor Slot’s funeral.

The 41-year-old from Grand Rapids was killed last Thursday while laying down spike strips to stop a speeding sport utility vehicle on Interstate 96 in Ottawa County.

Visitation was held Wednesday and again today at the Third Reformed Church in Grand Rapids. Funeral services will be Friday at the Resurrection Life Church in Grandville.

Derryl LaFave Jr. and Kristopher Cheyne crashed after Slot was hit. They were shot and killed by police when they fired at officers. The pair had led police on a high-speed chase following a bank robbery in Muskegon County.

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