NEW KENSINGTON (KDKA) — A dramatic procession left Mount Saint Peter’s Church after the funeral for Lower Burrell Police Officer Derek Kotecki.
“I think it just represents the brotherhood of the profession,” Greensburg Police Detective Jerry Vernail said.
Police officers lined the driveway to the church. Some traveled from California, Canada and Chicago.
“It just shows that it’s a huge family, there’s always someone there behind your back, there’s always backup I guess,” Chicago Police Officer Chris Bell said.
A Monroeville police office sang during the service. Among those in attendance was injured Clairton Police Officer James Kuzak.
An estimated 50 K-9 units were also on-hand to honor one of their own.
“Just think it means a lot to all of us to show our family support,” Reading Police Officer Brian Thumm said. “We are one brotherhood, we all want to come out and show the family that we have all lost one.”
More than 100 state troopers attended the funeral, joined by hundreds of local officers all there to honor a brother who made the ultimate sacrifice.
“We know that there’s evil in this world and we know that every day we have to go out and face that evil so that our communities are safe,” Penn Township Police Chief John Otto said.