SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) — Local law enforcement left Sioux Falls Friday to attend the funeral for 23-year-old officer Jake Wallin, who was shot and killed by a gunman in the streets of Fargo, North Dakota, one week ago.
Wallin’s funeral is Saturday in Pequot Lakes, Minnesota, is expected to draw law enforcement agencies from across the country.
The caravan pulled out of the Sioux Falls Law Enforcement Center to begin their five-and-a-half hour journey to honor a fallen officer.
“We’ll stop along the way to refuel the bikes and the vehicles and people are really respectful, they show a lot of support,” Sioux Falls Police Honor Guard Commander Lt. Jason Leach said.
Four Sioux Falls motorcycle patrol officers will be part of the law enforcement escort for Jake Wallin’s body from Pequot Lakes High School to the cemetery. The rest of the Sioux Falls group will find out their assignments before the funeral.
“We might be involved in helping coordinate where people go. We might be door guards,” Leach said.
The officers take a lot of pride in the appearance of their motorcycles. They polished them up ahead of their ride to Pequot Lakes. And once they reach their destination, they polish them again tonight to get them ready for tomorrow’s funeral.
“I think it’s a sign of respect and honor to that fallen officer for anybody to show up for the escort and actual motor procession itself. It shows a lot of support for the family to have other officers show up,” Sgt. Joel Dalton of the Sioux Falls Police Department said.
The trip is also personal for the Sioux Falls group because of one of the officers who was wounded in the shooting.
“One of the officers that was shot in Fargo in this horrific incident actually is a police motorcycle officer as well up in Fargo. And he had come down here to Sioux Falls and trained with our motorcycle officers down here,” Leach said.
A tragedy that strikes close to home as local law enforcement pay their respects in a show of support that stretches across the border and far beyond.
A South Dakota Highway Patrol vehicle was also part of the caravan that left Sioux Falls Friday.
Leach says the officer who shot the Fargo gunman probably saved multiple lives based upon how heavily armed he was.