CINCINNATI (FOX19) - The funeral for Springdale Police Officer Kaia Grant will take place Sunday, March 29, and police acknowledge concessions must be made to stop the spread of COVID-19
Most of the hallmarks of traditional burial ceremonies will be there — bagpipes, a helicopter flyover, honor guard, a 21-gun salute and attending officers in formation.
But social distancing will be the rule throughout, and instead of a large funeral service, the funeral itself will be a private event open to family and police personnel only.
A live stream will be provided so the public can watch across the nation.
In a departure unrelated to the pandemic, Officer Keenan Riordan said Grant’s family wishes for her body to be cremated, meaning there won’t be a traditional burial ceremony.
The procession will leave Spring Grove Cemetery at 9 a.m., Riordan explained, then travel to Wyoming High School, of which Grant is a graduate, before passing the Springdale Police and Fire Departments.
The ceremony will be held at Vineyard Church in Springdale.
The full procession route will be provided later this week.
“Much of the procession is along residential streets,” Riordan said. “We encourage residents to step outside their homes along the route to support Officer Grant and her family in a safe and responsible manner.”
Riordan added a police official will be assigned the “sole responsibility" of ensuring compliance with the governor’s orders on social distancing.
Police Chief Thomas Wells began a briefing on the funeral arrangements Tuesday by highlighting Sgt. Andrew Davis, who was injured in the crash that killed Grant last Saturday.
Davis is recovering from "serious injuries, Wells said, and "will not be coming back to work soon."
“We appreciate his strength, being there Saturday night as a show of strength as he stood with us when we announced what happened to Kaia."
Wells added if the public wishes to donate, they should do so through The Shield, which provides emergency funds and resources to the families of officers in southwest Ohio who are critically injured or killed in the line of duty.
As examples of its work, Wells says the nonprofit flew Grant’s father in from Atlanta, put him in a hotel and gave him a rental car while paying the rent on Grant’s apartment so her family can “take their time in getting her things.”
Wells then thanked other departments in the area for lending both emotional and personnel support in this trying time, during which he says he has separated himself from the operations of the department to make sure Grant’s family’s needs are taken care of and their wishes met.
Colerain Township police and Sharonville police are among the departments helping, fulfilling a “majority of Springdale’s patrol beats for at least a week," according to Colerain Township Patrol Commander Chris Phillips.