Fallen Sedgwick County deputy's funeral procession to close roads FridayPosted: Updated:
Deputy Robert Kunze's funeral will be held Friday morning. It starts at 10 a.m. at Central Community Church. Afterward will be what's expected to be a very long funeral procession to Resthaven Cemetery.
That procession will shut down some busy roads over the lunch hour. The road closures will start around 11 a.m. and run through at least 1 p.m. It will move from Central Community Church, near Towne West, along Maple to 119th Street West, then south on 119th to Kellogg. and Resthaven.
Wichitans KAKE News spoke with along this route say they don't mind being blocked in for several hours Friday. Not this time around.
"It just seems like everybody's out to get cops these days," said Jesse Lemaster. That feeling is why, when he learned about the death of Deputy Kunze on Sunday, he felt the need to fly a U.S. flag with a thin blue line down the middle of it. "Visually that's how I'm showing my support."
He lives along 119th Street and will be one of many Wichitans completely blocked in for several hours Friday as the funeral procession for Deputy Kunze makes its way from the church to Resthaven.
"Go for it," Jesse says.
The Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office says the public's support over this last week has been incredible and very helpful.
"It's been great," said Lt. Tim Myers with the Sheriff's Office. "We had a great turnout last night at the candlelight vigil put on by the wives. And we have received all kinds of food, cards, donations."
And they invite those who aren't coming to the funeral to join in a last goodbye to Deputy Kunze.
"We are asking that if anybody wants to stand out by the road, hold flags, banners, signs, whatever," said Myers. "It's very important to us because it lets us know that the community cares."
At the same time, the Sheriff's Office is warning the processional could last a long time, with some cars still leaving the church at the same time others are already arriving at Resthaven. Jesse just has one thing to say about that.
"It's going to be a sad day for his family and everybody. I don't mind that at all. Take all the time you need and block the road for as long as you want.," Jesse said.
If you're not planning to attend the funeral or join those along the route to say goodbye the Sheriff's Office suggests avoiding the area for most of the day on Friday to save on traffic headaches.