Dallas Police Officers Attend Funeral Service For Sebastian Co. Corporal

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FORT SMITH (KFSM) -- Hundreds of law enforcement officers were in Fort Smith Tuesday (Aug. 16) to attend the funeral service for slain Sebastian County Sheriff's Office Cpl. Bill Cooper.

Most of the officers came from agencies in Northwest Arkansas, the River Valley and Oklahoma, but there were also many who made a longer journey. Two of the police officers came from Dallas for the funeral service at the Fort Smith Convention Center.

"[Bill Cooper] paid the ultimate price and that's the least we can do as a people and as a department to show our support for him," Cpl. James Petty said.

Petty and officer Arnold Rodriguez made the trip together.

"We started the Honor Guard in November of 2008," Rodriguez said. "We've done probably a couple hundreds miles of driving across the country."

The two men know firsthand what it is like to loose a fellow officer. The Dallas Police Department itself is healing after five officers were killed by a sniper in July, so they offered some advice about how to move forward.

"Lean on each other, it's an uphill battle," Petty said.

"Pray," Rodriguez said. "Look toward family and coworkers for support."

A group of officers from the Bentonville Police Department also traveled to Fort Smith.

"It's a difficult time for law enforcement and it's important that we stick together and show our support for one another," Sgt. Garrett Penn said. "When we've got a fellow fallen officer, it was important that we come show our support, just as they'd show their support for us."

Cooper was buried at Oak Cemetery following a procession through the city after the funeral service at the convention center.

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