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Associated Press
Mishawaka Police Cpls. Franklin Ennis, left, and Brian Long change guard duties at the casket of slain Gary police Officer Jeffrey Westerfield.

Gary officer’s daughter praises him at funeral

– The daughter of the Gary police officer who was slain in his car thanked hundreds of officers for turning out Monday for his funeral, telling them he was someone special who always made her feel safe.

“I loved my dad,” said Allie Westerfield, daughter of Patrolman Jeffrey Westerfield. “I know we had issues. Every parent and their kids have issues. But I always knew that if I really needed him, he would be there. But he’s gone.

“But I know that I have my Gary police department, like a hundred aunts and uncles that sometimes I want and sometimes I don’t. But I know you’re feeling just as hurt as I am,” she said.

Officers from Indiana, Illinois and elsewhere came to pay their respects to Jeffrey Westerfield, who died early on July 6, his 47th birthday. Authorities have said a person of interest is being held in the Lake County Jail, but no charges have been filed.

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly told family members that people throughout Indiana were heartbroken over Westerfield’s death and were praying for them.

“We want to thank you for your sorrow, your sacrifice, for his extraordinary service,” he said.

Less than 12 hours before Westerfield was shot, Indianapolis police Officer Perry Renn was killed in a shootout. And on June 28, Tipton County sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Calvin died when his car crashed while responding to an automobile accident.