Thousands will mourn Officer Mathews; here's how to pay your respects

Get a spot along the procession to the Wayzata cemetery

Thursday's funeral service for Wayzata police officer Bill Mathews will attract fellow law enforcement officers from all over Minnesota and some from beyond the state. 

So even though the service is open to the public, it's likely that men and women in uniform will occupy whatever seats are not reserved for friends and family at Wayzata Free Church

But there's another way for citizens to pay their respects to the officer fatally struck on a highway while on duty last week. After the funeral service there will be a three mile procession to Summit Park Cemetery, where Mathews will be buried. 

The funeral begins at 11 a.m. and the Wayzata Police Department suggested Wednesday that anyone who wants a spot on the procession route should be in place by 12:30 or 12:45 p.m. 

The route goes south on Highway 101 to Wayzata Boulevard. It then follows Superior, Lake, and Ferndale Streets back to Wayzata Boulevard and to the cemetery. 

There will actually be two processions. The first will involve all the squad cars from out-of-town law enforcement agencies paying tribute to Mathews, which might number in the thousands. 

That will be followed about 20 or 30 minutes later by local law enforcement escorting the Mathews family. Officer Mathews' body will be carried by a horse-drawn caisson, the police department says. 

At the cemetery there will be a fly-over by the Minnesota State Patrol. Finally, there will be a last radio call for Mathews. 

In an open letter this week, his widow and 7-year-old son thanked the community for the outpouring of support they've received since Mathews' death. 

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