A slain policeman was laid to rest in the Philadelphia suburbs Wednesday following a funeral that was a tribute to the officer’s courage.
Hundreds of police officers from the region and beyond traveled to Plymouth Meeting to attend the funeral of officer Brad Fox who was killed a day before his 35th birthday.
Among the mourners was Hatboro Police Chief James Gardner who said the senseless murder was felt by every police officer in the region.
“This one hits especially close to us in Montgomery County. We’re here to support our brothers and sisters in Plymouth Township,” Gardner said. “It’s quite a tribute for officer Fox and his family.”
Fox, the first police officer to be killed in the line of duty in Plymouth, was shot last week as he pursued a suspect following a hit-and-run traffic accident, a high-speed pursuit and a foot search by Fox off the Schuylkill River. After shooting Fox, Andrew Thomas killed himself.
More than 100 Philadelphia police officers, including the entire command staff, attended the funeral Mass at Epiphany of Our Lord Church in Plymouth Meeting. Hundreds of police cars, motorcycles and K-9 vehicles lined the area around the church.
City Police Commissioner Charles Ramsey says he called Plymouth Township police immediately after hearing about the shooting.
“Because we’ve been through it, we reached out right away to Plymouth Township to provide support,” Ramsey said. “Our people have been here to help with the traffic control, our honor guard assisted their pallbearers with the ceremony and what goes along with it.”
“I’ve personally spoke with the chief on Sunday and told him it was impossible to ask for too much,” Ramsey said. “Anything he needs from the Philadelphia Police Department, he will get.”
Talking about the hundreds of officers who came to the funeral, East Whiteland Township police officer Cecil Abel says all public safety providers are a family and when one is lost, all feel it.
“It’s a family thing, whenever an officer goes down. It’s like losing a brother, it’s very heartbreaking,” Abel said. “Even though we’ve never met, never crossed paths, it’s heartbreaking.”
Fox, who served two tours of duty in Iraq, was interred at the Washington Crossing National Cemetery. He is survived by his expectant wife and their young daughter.