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Clay City Chief Laid to Rest

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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 criminals.

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 hero."

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," he said.

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 honor.

Attending the funeral from the West Liberty Police Department was Chief of Police Kelse Hensley and Patrolman Paul Perkins.

Article from www.lex18.com .



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Last modified: July 18, 2012