FAIRWAY, Kan. — Police in Fairway are speaking for the first time about their grief after one of their fellow officers was killed in the line of duty.
A weekend of support is planned to honor fallen Fairway Police Officer Jonah Oswald, who was killed in the line of duty. Oswald was shot on Sunday while trying to arrest two suspects. His passing was announced on Monday.
Fairway’s Police Department consists of only seven officers in all. The department’s officers are off road duty during this time of mourning, as officers from other law enforcement agencies help cover shifts.
Fairway Police Chief J.P. Thurlo said he knows how much the community longs for its law enforcement officers.
“We feel how much they love us. We feel how much they miss us,” Thurlo said on Thursday.
Oswald, 29, leaves behind a wife and two children. Thurlo said he’d become very good at his job during his four years on staff.
“There has been so much support — layer upon layer upon layer of support for us, but despite all that, we’re still broken, but we’ll work through this,” Thurlo added.
Oswald’s funeral visitation will be held from 5-8 p.m. Sunday at the Westside Family Church in Lenexa. His funeral will be held there at 11 a.m. Monday. A police spokesperson said there are plans to livestream the service.
On Friday, Oswald will be honored with a Parade of Blue, beginning at 7:30 p.m. The parade is scheduled to begin at 9300 Metcalf Avenue in Overland Park.
It will wind through the streets of Johnson County. Hundreds of police cars are expected to attend. A candlelight vigil at Harmon Park in Prairie Village should begin around 9 p.m.
Lenexa Police spokesman Danny Chavez said he expects the Parade of Blue to resemble a similar gathering in 2020, when mourners lined the streets in respect for Overland Park Police Officer Mike Mosher, who had been killed in the line of duty.
“There were hundreds of law enforcement vehicles from all over the country as well as folks along the parade route,” Chavez said.
“I know we’re one of the smallest agencies in the Kansas City metro, but now, because of all support, I feel like I have the biggest department in the country,” Thurlo added tearfully.
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Roger Doran, who operates Rainy Day Books, a popular business just up the street from Fairway Police headquarters, said he’ll miss Oswald, who was known to help unload boxes from delivery trucks during slow times. Doran is among those who want Oswald’s family to know they’re loved.
“It’s very important they understand how the community and the friends and the police department is going to continue to support them in perpetuity throughout the rest of their lives. It’s that kind of a commitment,” Doran said.