Procession for Officer Apple leaves lasting impact on hundreds gathered in Pea Ridge

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PEA RIDGE, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) – People from across the state lined the street in Pea Ridge to pay their respects to Officer Kevin Apple Friday morning.

For many parents, it was a sight they also wanted their kids to see.

“I think it’s important for the boys to see that sense of community come together,” said Saira Hixson, a mom of three in Pea Ridge.

Hixson and her sons were just one of the many families standing right by where the officer was killed on duty to salute as the procession came through.

This hit our family hard. It hit our community hard.”

SAIRA HIXSON, PEA RIDGE RESIDENT

Hixson saw with her own eyes that tragic scene Saturday, June 26 where he was hit and killed.

“We were here on Saturday right as it happened and it was intense to see everyone flood in.”

For Rhea Franklin and her dad, Robert, the procession Saturday also carried a lot of weight.

“It hits home and then it’s in our home area,” Rhea Franklin said.

Franklin said Friday morning’s scene reminded her of the scary reality as the daughter of a law enforcement officer.

“For me it’s like realization that something like this could happen,” she said.

For Robert, it was a realization of the support across Arkansas for men like him serving in law enforcement.

“In this day in age, sometimes you don’t feel like you have the support from the community, so it’s nice to see,” he said.

The father-daughter duo said they will forever acknowledge the risks officers take to protect their community, and that Officer Kevin Apple payed the ultimate price to do so.

Many honoring Officer Apple in his procession Friday were from the Pea Ridge community and knew him personally, but many came from different areas of the state and never knew the officer but wanted to honor him in his final sendoff.

I spoke with the Pea Ridge police chief, lieutenant and a neighbor of Apple’s earlier in the week to learn more about who he was as a person and what his loved ones will remember him by. The story is linked below.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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