KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- 2014 has been a difficult, controversial and deadly year for the law enforcement community. On the eve of a new year, two Kansas City, Mo. officers are getting ready to go to New York to represent their department and city at a funeral.
Officer Wenjian Liu will be laid to rest Sunday, he's one of the officers killed in an ambush earlier this month.
Officer Larryn Lewis and Sergeant Matt Young leave for New York on Thursday. They'll attend Liu's wake on Saturday, his funeral on Sunday. They know it will be tough, but feel it's important to be there.
"We are all in this together to try and make our communities safer, and I think a lot of that has been lost with some of the national news stories, with what we really do on a daily basis." said Sgt. Young.
For 12 years, day in and day out, all Sgt. Young has wanted to do is his job, but controversy involving police officers has made it difficult.
"It's created a sadness and depression among officers that they are being viewed like this, it's the only profession where if one officer makes a mistake, it doesn't matter what it is, we are all judged," explained Young.
He understands some of that comes with the uniform, but he's thankful the animosity seen in other communities hasn't made it to the streets of Kansas City.
"Our department has done excellent job of reaching out to community and establishing those relationships. I'm really proud to work for this department because of that," he said.
When two NYPD officers were gunned down while eating lunch in their patrol car, it had an affect, not only on Sgt. Young, but his family.
"I've always been extremely proud, I wear my police stuff everywhere. I wear my badge necklace everywhere, I'm so proud and with everything that's happening, I don't anymore, I'm scared," Jennifer Young shared.
Sgt. Young's wife Jennifer bleeds blue, she grew up in a law enforcement family. But with everything going on from Ferguson to New York, she's truly scared every time her husband leaves the house.
"I've never had that fear before, I've always been strong and it's going to be okay and it's not anymore, reality we are living with," she said.
Despite that reality, Jennifer is still very proud of her husband and she's glad he's making the trip, a trip Sgt. Young isn't taking lightly.
It's an honor and very humbling and huge responsibility, do the best we can to offer support from everyone here," he said.
Sgt. Young and Ofc. Lewis received free plane tickets from Jet Blue. The airline offered every department in the nation two free tickets for officers wanting to attend the funeral. The Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 99 also stepped up to help offset some of the costs as well.