Law enforcement from all over the country traveled to Fort Smith on Tuesday to pay their respects to fallen Sebastian County deputy.
More than 2,800 seats were filled with law enforcement, family, friends and strangers to honor Corporal Bill Cooper. Those who attended said the deputy will leave behind a legacy.
“He answered that last call, we just wanted to pay our respects to Bill Cooper and his family,” said Lt. Steve McLanahan with the Little Rock Police Department.
The community filled the Fort Smith Convention Center on Tuesday morning to remember Cpl. Cooper, who lost his life in the line of duty on Wednesday, Aug. 10.
“He was a one of a kind type of guy,” said Chad Brandenburg, a friend of Cpl. Cooper. “There won’t be another like him.”
Cpl. Cooper is remembered as a man who had a heart for serving and a smile that lit up a room. That sentiment echoed from many including Sheriff Hollenbeck and Governor Asa Hutchinson.
“There is no way I can ever pay you back,” Sheriff Hollenbeck said. “He served the Sebastian County Sheriff’s Office for more than a decade, before that the Ft. Smith Police Department and his country as a marine.”
Bradenburg said Cpl. Cooper was “always there anytime you needed him” and that he always had a smile on his face.
Even those who did not know Cpl. Cooper traveled to Fort Smith to pay their respects.
“There were so many people that it wouldn’t make much of a difference but I felt like it was something I had to do,” said Casey Apperson.
More than 100 law enforcement vehicles drove down Rogers Ave. after the funeral to show the bond between law enforcement goes beyond county and state lines.