On June 17, 2007, a giant American flag
hoisted by two fire truck ladders marked the entrance Sunday to a
memorial service for a small-town police chief gunned down by a family
friend during a traffic stop.
Hundreds of law-enforcement officers from every corner of Kentucky
filled Powell County High School where Clay City Police Chief Randy Lacy
was remembered as a man who treated everyone with respect - even the
That may have ultimately proven fatal. Lacy, 55, was shot point
blank in the back of the head in his squad car Wednesday while making a
routine DUI arrest, authorities said. Lacy, who was familiar with
the suspect, Jamie Barnett, 37, and had arrested him numerous times,
handcuffed him in the front rather than behind his back. Barnett
said in an interview last week with The Associated Press he doesn't know
how he got hold of Lacy's gun and was too high on drugs to remember of
the events leading up to the shooting. "My brother Randy was
a police officer," said Garland Lacy, a court bailiff and sheriff's
department chaplain. "Today we celebrate him as a fallen
Family photos and an American flag adorned Lacy's open casket and
bouquets of flowers lined the floor and stage inside the gym.
Although there were no specific references to Barnett during the
service, there were several mentions of the region's spiraling drug
problem that Lacy had struggled to combat. "I pray that this
would be a wake-up call," said minister Anthony Molihan.
Garland Lacy, wearing his sheriff's uniform, also acknowledged the
more than 300 uniformed officers and honored the risks they take every
day in the line of service. "Each of these men and women are
just one crack of the pistol away from being where Randy lies now,"
A funeral procession with more than 200 law enforcement vehicles led
the hearse that carried Lacy's body to the cemetery Sunday
evening. Several officers were also on horseback. Another
American flag hanging from a fire truck marked the way to the burial at
West Bend Cemetery in Clay City and a city squad car was parked across
the street decorated in flowers.
Lacy was honored at the hour-long graveside ceremony by bagpipe and
trumpet music, a 21-gun salute and a helicopter fly over. Sara
Combs, chief judge of the Kentucky Court of Appeals, said she had
received condolences from across the state. "The Commonwealth
of Kentucky now knows that well-kept secret we had in Powell County -
what a great and good man this was," Combs said. U.S. Rep.
Ben Chandler sent a condolence letter and presented an American flag to
Lacy's widow, Ruth, that had been flown above the U.S. Capitol in Lacy's
Attending the funeral from the West Liberty Police Department was
Chief of Police Kelse Hensley and Patrolman Paul Perkins.
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