State Police Post Nine employees are saying a final goodbye to another trooper, this time Detective Joey Howard. But while many are attending services, the work isn't stopping. Officers from around the state are manning the Pikeville post.
"They're mourning, they're grieving, they're going through a tough time," said Tpr. Elliott Gollihue of the Ashland Kentucky State Police Post.
For the second time in just a week, state police in Pikeville are saying goodbye to a co-worker.
"The mood is somber. It's a lot of tragedy in a week's time," said Tpr. Don Trosper with the London Post.
While troopers and dispatchers say goodbye to Detective Joey Howard, cars fill the post's parking lot. Other troopers and dispatchers from all over the state are here to fill in.
"We are a family. We come in and help in this time of tragedy," said Tpr. Ralph Lockard with the Morehead Post.
"Keep things running here at post and answer complaints, calls for assistance from the citizens, and that allows the officers here at Pikeville to deal with their losses," Trosper said.
Some drove hours across the entire state just to help comrades they've never met.
"We are a brotherhood, 120 counties strong. A trooper gets hurt in Pikeville, a trooper in Mayfield will be there at his side," said Gollihue.
"Regardless of which end of the state we work, we do wear the same uniform and we have a common bond," Lockard said.
A bond growing tighter in tragedies.
"The troopers across the state have been bonding a lot more than they have. I've seen troopers from Mayfield I've never seen before," Gollihue said.
Detective Joey Howard's funeral will be held Friday morning at eleven at May Valley Elementary School in Martin.
WYMT will comply with the family's request not to cover the funeral.