LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Hundreds came to pay their respects at a memorial service for K9 Officer Harlej in Fishers, Indiana, Wednesday night.
The K9 was shot and killed while tracking two suspects involved in a car chase.
According to a report by Fox 59, the gymnasium was packed with law enforcement agencies from across the state. K9 Harlej's handler, Jarred Koopman, did not speak at the service, but his wife, Kim, did. She moved people with a reading of the account of the night Harlej was killed.
"You wait for both of them to come home together," Koopman said. "So, when your husband calls you at 3:30 in the morning and starts the conversation with, 'I am okay but Harlej is gone,' a part of you crumbles. His loss feels unbearable."
Harlej selflessly served his community until his dying day on Nov. 13.
"Harlej, there are no words one can say for how one little pup could impact so many people," Koopman said through her tears. "For the countless lives that you saved today, and for the loyalty and love you shared with your guy and us your family. It has changed us."
Harlej, a 5-year-old Belgian Malinois, was killed while tracking suspects last week during a traffic stop. Officer Jarred Koopman had served as his handler since he joined the department in 2015.
A public memorial service was held in the Main Gym at Fishers High School -- 13000 Promise Road.
At the conclusion of the ceremony, a procession took place to George Kehl Police Station (4 Municipal Drive, Fishers).
Copyright 2019 by WDRB Media and Fox 59. All rights reserved.