Community Comes Together For Fallen Deputy’s Funeral

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) — The tragedy that happened last week in the River Valley will not be forgotten by many around our community and the nation. Days after the deadly shooting of one Sebastian County Deputy, it’s now time to lay him to rest.

Cpl. Bill Cooper was shot near Hackett last week when he was sent to a domestic disturbance call. He was shot in the neck and died later that day at Sparks Hospital.

The Fort Smith community will come together Tuesday (Aug 16) and they’re asking everyone to wear green while lining the funeral procession route along Rogers Avenue at 10 a.m. Green is the historic color for the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office.

Coworkers said no one loved the community like he did.  “We have a loss here at our department. And at some point, someone may fill the position, but they will never take his spot in our hearts,” said Lt. Philip Pevehouse with the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office. “This was a person that reached more than just the folks that he worked with, but he actually reached his county and community,” Lt. Pevehouse said.

The Sebastian County Sheriff’s Department is expecting a large turnout as they lay Cpl. Cooper to rest. Cooper has been with the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office since 2001.

Other law enforcement agencies are stepping in to help patrol the area during the funeral. Arkansas State Police will be patrolling the streets and going out on calls. Then deputies from the Washington and Crawford County Sheriff’s Departments will run the jail.

“I think I’m going to remember his attitude towards his job and how much he loved his job and community,” said Lt. Pevehouse.

The funeral will be at the Fort Smith Convention Center. The burial service will immediately follow at Oak Cemetery.

The Sebastian County Courthouse will be closed Tuesday morning in honor of Cpl. Cooper, and to allow county employees to pay their respects to the fallen deputy and his family. The courthouse is expected to open at 1 p.m.