Officer Dunn laid to rest

Sandusky police officers carried their fallen brother's flag-draped casket through Calvary Cemetery on Friday.
Sarah Weber
Mar 26, 2011

Sandusky police officers carried their fallen brother's flag-draped casket through Calvary Cemetery on Friday.

Behind them, hundreds of fellow uniformed officials saluted Sandusky police Officer Andrew Dunn, 30, who gave his life serving the community.

Dunn was fatally shot March 19 in an early-morning traffic stop on Tyler Street.

He is the first Sandusky police officer killed by gunfire in the line of duty.

His fellow officers -- including those who worked the same shift and responded to his calls for help that morning -- spent the week mourning their friend and planning a memorial.

After Friday's services, Dunn's father, Sandusky police Officer Matt Dunn, reflected on the past week's emotional events.

"Besides the day Andy joined the department, I've never been so proud of SPD," Matt said.

A miles-long procession of police cruisers wound quietly through Sandusky's streets Friday afternoon, their lights flickering in silent salute.

At the cemetery, the Ohio State Highway Patrol drum and bugle corps played a soft melody as officers from as far as Oklahoma, Pennsylvania and Florida lined up in front of the cemetery's mausoleum.

They stood tall in the cold afternoon air, facing a flag that danced in the breeze at half-mast.

Even four-legged officers came out to honor Dunn. More than 20 police K-9s stood next to their handlers as the Koch Funeral Home hearse pulled into the cemetery.

A black police horse without a rider led the procession to the mausoleum.

White-gloved officers carried Dunn's casket into the mausoleum as Cleveland Police Department's bag pipes and drums resonated.

Dunn's family -- his wife, Julie, sons, Caleb, 3, and Conner, 5 months -- led a stream of family into the building, where the Rev. Wayne Mushett, the Sandusky police chaplain, said a few final words.

Outside, Norwalk police fired a three-shot salute into the air.

The drum and bugle corps played taps.

Tears filled the eyes of many officers.

The pipes again sounded, this time playing "Amazing Grace."

Overhead, an Ohio State Highway Patrol helicopter was flanked by two Cleveland police helicopters, dipping close in a low flyover.

The elder Dunn said his son had attended a lot of police funerals throughout the years to pay his respects. The young officer loved serving on the police force and had a tattoo of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial logo on his shoulder.

He would have been amazed at the showing officers put on in his honor, Matt said.

"Not just today, but all week," he said. "The community has been amazing. That's all I want, is the community to come together."

Togetherness and love was the message Mushett delivered to Dunn's friends and family during the funeral service at The Chapel on Galloway Road.

To sharpen his words, Mushett chose John 15:13: "Greater love has no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Dunn's greatest sacrifice was made in service to the community he loved.

Only love, then, would help heal the aching hearts, Mushett said.

"Instead of taking our energy and turning it into hate, let's take that energy and use it to make a change," Mushett said. "My prayer is this will open people's eyes to make a change for the better."

 

For community reaction, local tributes, more photos and complete procession coverage see Saturday's Register.