Families line procession route for Ofc. Renn
Hundreds of people paid their respects throughout Indianapolis Friday as the funeral procession for IMPD Ofc. Perry Renn came by - and not just in the North District he served.
The families came from across the city and state.
"Hold the flags up really high. As high as you can," said Buddy Himes.
"Look at all those police cars. Ever see so many?" said Mike St. John.
Entire families lined an 11-mile route along the city for the same reason.
"Who are we coming to see?" Himes asked his 3-year-old son Jackson.
"Officer Renn," the boy replied.
"What are we going to say?" Himes said.
"Thank you," Jackson said.
"Thank you for your service. Thank you," said Mary Hill.
"The thanks they see from the community is huge," said Juanita Hofmeister.
Hofmeister and her children were not just out to support Ofc. Renn, but also the hundreds of other Indianapolis police officers that rode in Friday's funeral procession. Among those officers was their father, who has been an IMPD officer for 14 years.
It's why moments like this hit very close to home.
"It could have been any one of us. They work everyday with people who don't like them and so to come out and see the rest of the people who appreciate everything they do, it means so much to the police officers," Hofmeister said.
"Wave at 'em. Let's see if they wave back," St. John told the children he was with.
It likely means a lot to future police officers - and there were likely many in the crowd. Jackson likes to wear his Uncle Mike's police hat and badge. Four-year-old David Hill, the youngest little brother, wants to be a police officer, as does Hofmeister's 7-year-old son Samuel, who wants to be an officer just like his dad.
"I don't like bad guys," Samuel said.
Six-year-old Justin feels the same way.
"This one here already told me he wants to be a police officer when he grows up and I told him it makes me proud, but it also makes me sad, because of this right here. That they're out there protecting us and this is what happens as a result," said Donna St. John.
On this day of mourning, families came out to celebrate a hero and to provide some lessons along the way.
"We just want our kids to know about the sacrifices made for us here in the city everyday," Himes said.