Thousands pay tribute to fallen Pontiac Officer at visitation & funeral

By WEEK Producer

November 2, 2013 Updated Nov 2, 2013 at 6:37 PM CDT

PONTIAC, Ill. -- More than a thousand officers, family and friends came to Pontiac High School to pay their respects to 29-year-old Pontiac officer Casey J. Kohlmeier. Kohlmeier and his K-9 partner "Draco" were killed in a crash Wednesday night near the 201 mile marker on I-55.

The visitation services started at 8AM Saturday followed by funeral services at noon.

"This is probably the largest turnout that Livingston County has ever seen," said Livingston County Chief Deputy Tony Childress.

Officers from all over the country, and even Canine Officer showed up to honor Kohlmeier one last time. The hundreds of officers present did a walk around the school auditorium in Kohlmeiers honor.

"We've got calls from Canada expressing their condolences," said Chief Tim Henson, Dwight Police Department. "We have police officers from several states coming to pay tribute."

The burial at Pontiac Southside Cemetery was delayed a couple hours due to a high volume of guests at the visitation requesting to see Kohlmeier.

"It speaks volumes of who Casey kohlmeier was, and what he meant to us," said Childress.

Many of those guests openly reminisced their beloved officer.

"He was always smiling. He was a joker, he would give you the shirt off his back even if it was his last shirt," said Lindsey Blunier, close friend and former classmate.

Others were determined to spread his story.

Childress said, "Though Casey is physically gone, his spirit lives on."