Honoring fallen heroes: Funeral for Officer Jacob Chaffins held Thursday
FLOYD COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT) - The third officer killed in an eastern Kentucky ambush was laid to rest Thursday.
Captain Ralph Frasure, Deputy William Petry, Officer Jacob Chaffins and K-9 Drago were killed on June 30. Lance Storz is accused of killing all three men and shooting others. He’s charged with multiple counts of murder.
Prestonsburg Mayor Les Stapleton says the last seven days have felt like months.
“There’s no manual for it, there’s no policy for it, there’s no ordinance for it. you can talk to other agencies,” Stapleton said.
One of those agencies is the Pikeville Police Department. In 2018, they faced a similar tragedy when officer Scotty Hamilton was killed in the line of duty. They have been covering Prestonsburg this week.
“There is a brotherhood among fire and police,” said Stapleton. “We’ve got people here from Portland, Oregon, Chicago. They’ve all come to show their respects.”
Stapleton said Chaffins, known as Jake by everyone who loved him, was a dedicated servant to this area, wearing many hats in public service.
“Jake was a wonderful young man. Even when I was coaching him in middle school, you give jake a task, and it was done. When he was working for us as a firefighter, you give him a task, it was done. Then when he became a police officer and our K-9 handler, ‘Jake, we need you to work some extra hours.’ He was here,”said Mayor Stapleton.
(Story continues below)
All week long, we have seen a tremendous showing of support and honor for the families and agencies of these fallen officers. Police agencies from across Kentucky and even across the country have been in Floyd County.
Officer Jacob Chaffins was not only a Prestonsburg City Police Officer, but also a member of the Prestonsburg Fire Department, a sergeant in the National Guard, an EMT, and U.S. Marshal.
He leaves behind a wife, Savannah, and daughter Paisley.
Community leaders are asking for support to continue in the days and weeks ahead.
“Tons of people reaching out from communities and organizations asking how can we help. We want to let you know that we need you to continue to help. We need to show our community, our first responders and their families that we are here to support you in the same way that you protect us,” said Rep. Ashley Tackett Laferty, D-Martin.
Money is being raised for the families of the law enforcement officers. There is a fund set up through the Floyd County Community Foundation.
Officer Chaffins’s funeral procession came through downtown Prestonsburg, just like Deputy William Petry’s and Captain Ralph Frasure’s did the two days before.
All three men were laid to rest at Gethsemane Gardens.
The healing process is slowly beginning, but Mayor Stapleton says these men will never be forgotten.
Copyright 2022 WKYT. All rights reserved.