AUSTIN (KXAN) - As Austin police officers deal with the tremendous loss of Officer Jaime Padron, the department also has the duty of giving Officer Padron and his family a proper fallen officer farewell.
"They do a great job and they will send him off in style," said Charley Wilkison, Director of Public Affairs for CLEAT, the Combined Law Enforcement Associations of Texas .
Wilkison was also a friend of Officer Padron, who has always been a "union man" and most recently served on the board of the Austin Police Association.
"It's just a lot of details. A lot of them are very, very tiny and small and mean a lot to that family and they mean a lot to that law enforcement family so they have to be done and have to be done right," said Wilkison.
One detail that has touched the Padron family was the arrival of the U.S. Honor Flag at the funeral home Monday. The American flag has traveled many miles since it was first flown at the state Capitol in 2001 to honor public safety members who lost their lives on 9-11.
It is carefully placed in the cockpit of commercial airplanes and flown to grieving communities to pay tribute to those who have been killed in the line of duty.
Lakeway Police Chief Todd Radford arrived with the special delivery.
Wearing white gloves with the letters "USHF" embroidered on them in blue, Chief Radford took a deep breath and put his right hand to his head for a salute. Then he picked up the folded American flag lying in a black case and pressed it to his chest.
He turned and walked into the funeral home very slowly, silently and reverently, treating the flag like a casket.
"The opportunity to bring the Honor Flag to pay memorial to a man who essentially put on his uniform, put on his badge, went on and did his job and his life was taken from him is just appalling," said Chief Radford.
Chief Radford carried it inside to show Officer Padron's family and two young daughters, ages 10 and 6, before displaying it next to their father's casket.
"I spoke to his daughters and they understood and I asked them permission to let us do this and they gave me that permission. It's a very touching moment, it's a very sad moment for them," said Radford.
"As special as the U.S. Honor Flag is, Officer Jaime Padron is even more special, and to never lose sight or lose vision. We're here to honor him and his memory and to take care of his family."
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