Jul. 4—Emergency responders removed their hats while standing under a giant American flag on Saturday as the funeral procession for a police officer who was killed in the line a duty came to McAlester.
Fire trucks hoisted the flag on the Electric Avenue overpass of U.S. Highway 69 in McAlester on Saturday to honor Pea Ridge, Arkansas Officer Kevin Apple — who was struck and killed June 26 by a vehicle after he approached a suspect alleged to have fled from another law enforcement agency.
Our deepest condolences go out to Apple's family for the tragic loss of their loved one.
Apple's obituary states he "was known for his goofy laugh, practical jokes, and infectious smile" and "he would help anyone who needed it without question."
He graduated from Amber-Pocasett High School in 1986 and from police academy in 1996, according to his obituary.
The 23-year law enforcement officer is survived by his mother, Dalene Hart; stepfather Richard White; brother Kyle Hart; and his dog, Ratchet.
Suspects were arrested in Apple's death and we can't imagine what his family is going through, but we hope the gesture by emergency responders in our area offers some solace.
McAlester Police Day Shift Lt. Mickey Virden said Apple's family asked for escort assistance for the procession — but locals wanted to do more.
"It comes down to just taking care of each other and making sure the family knows we can't do a lot but we're here and we want you to know that we care for you and your family," said Virden, who is vice president of the McAlester Fraternal Order of Police.
Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson, Attorney General Leslie Rutledge, and Pea Ridge Police Chief Lynn Hahn spoke at Apple's funeral on Friday at Cross Church at Pinnacle Hills in Rogers, Arkansas.
Apple's internment was Saturday at Oak Hill Cemetery in McAlester.
Members of the McAlester Fire Department, McAlester Army Ammunition Plant Fire Department, McAlester Police Department, Krebs Krebs Police Department and assisted with traffic control and took a moment of silence as the procession passed through the area Saturday.
We thank everyone involved in showing Apple's family some respect and hope for their quick healing.
—McAlester News-Capital Editorial Board