DUNKIRK, N.Y. (WIVB) — During the Aug. 10 funeral of Dunkirk Police Officer Matthew Hazelton, his coworkers emphasized three main points: What high-caliber officer Hazelton was, their appreciation of the community’s outpouring of support in the wake of his death, and their desire to support Hazelton’s family in his absence.
That happened plenty at the funeral, and in the weeks since.
According to a picture sent Wednesday to News4, it’s happening yet again.
The picture shows Dunkirk police officers escorting Hazelton’s daughter to school.
Hazelton, 39, was a 14-year veteran of the Dunkirk Police Department, serving as their K-9 officer, and a member of their SRT and dive teams.
He was diagnosed with ALS around Christmas of 2016, and worked for a few months until he was unable.
Here’s how Hazelton’s supervisor and chief described the most active member of their force.
“He was one hell of a police officer, he was a great father and he was a great husband,” said Dunkirk Police Chief David Ortolano. “They all come to pay respects because we’re a family, we are all a family, we are a law enforcement and police department family.”
Dunkirk Sgt. Mark Gruber was hired shortly after Hazelton, and was one of his closest friends.
“I think being a police officer is a very unique profession, the specially one unfortunate events like this happen is when we really come together,” Gruber said. “They call it the blue line, but whatever it is, it just means were a big family. And to see the outpouring from all the different agencies in our county and across the state has just been incredible.”