CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — A funeral service was held Tuesday for University of Illinois Police Lieutenant Aaron Landers.
First responders lined areas of the procession to say good-bye to the 24-year UIPD veteran.
“It’s the least we can do,” Andy Stewart, an Urbana Firefighter, said. “This is a gentleman who was not only a police officer, but was someone who was so involved in the community.”
His station helped raise a few American flags through town, and they came together in front of the station to honor their fallen brother.
“Regardless, in this profession, we’re always here, we’re always here to stand by for him, for the department, for the families. It’s the least we could do,” Stewart said.
The funeral was held at The Vineyard Church in Urbana. After the service, a funeral procession wound through Urbana and to St. Joseph, where Landers was buried at Patterson Cemetery.
There, even more people lined the streets. Brian Brooks is the Superintendent for St. Joe-Ogden schools. Many of his staff and even some high school students stepped outside to join.
“Our school and our community have been through a lot the last couple of weeks. With some really important people and family members passing away. So, they’ve been through a lot, but a lot of them wanted to come out and show their support,” Brooks said.
U of I police Chief Alice Cary said Landers left a legacy that will be difficult to fill. And Stewart said it’s a tough loss for everyone.
“This is a rough one. If you’re in the fire service, Lieutenant Landers was so involved. I feel like he stepped up every time they had something come up,” he said.
Landers was a member of the East Central Illinois Bomb Squad. The group has started an account to help his family. They’re collecting money to help pay for his 2 kids college. You can help by donating, here.
Landers died after a crash last week. He had been off duty and riding his motorcycle when he was hit by a vehicle.