The death of Lowell Police Chief Joe Landers devastated a local community who has banded together to offer his family moral and financial support.
A fundraiser and vigil were held in his honor at Ward Nail Park where there was free food, raffle tickets and donations.
“He stood for dignity and pride in this community and what other great way then to show our support and hold something like this for his family,” said organizer Porscha Waggle, who works for the law firm Nolan, Cadell, and Reynolds. The firm put the event together.
Landers died Friday after nearly a week on life support at a Florida hospital. He died from injuries sustained in a weekend motorcycle accident in Panama City.
Chief Landers was honored in many ways. Some wore blue and black ribbons and his work motorcycle was displayed.
“He was so loved. I’ve seen the biggest, toughest police officers out here in tears. The community has surrounded us with love and care. It’s just been amazing. It’s been overwhelming,” said his sister Mary Lou Farmer.
Police officers who worked for him said his death has been difficult on all of them.
“He’s made such an impact that it’s tough. It’s like losing a family member, a brother and a family member… it has hit myself, it has hit Sargeant Pillaro, it has hit absolutely everyone here at the police department,” Lowell Police Officer Stephen Stanton said.
The Benton County Sheriff’s Office did a fly over in honor of all of the Chief’s years in law enforcement. It also kicked off a vigil in his memory.
“Thank you to everyone who has prayed for us, laughed with us, cried with us and I’m sorry for their loss. They’ve lost someone who truly loved them,” Farmer said.
The memorial will be a motorcade this Friday at 9:30a.m. They will meet at the Fast Lanes on Dixieland in Rogers. The service follows at 10:30a.m in the Worship Center on Pleasant Grove.