A public memorial service at noon Tuesday will honor the life of slain Dayton Police Detective Jorge Del Rio, and residents are urged to plan for traffic disruptions as a huge law enforcement motorcade will shut several streets in Dayton and the south suburbs.
After the service at UD Arena, there will be a flag presentation, 21-gun salute and military flyover. Around 2 p.m., hundreds of vehicles will participate in a law-enforcement-only motorcade through the streets of Dayton, Oakwood and Kettering to Tobias Funeral Home on Rahn Road, for a private service.
The long motorcade will include police from all around the nation, as departments regularly send representatives to honor officers who are killed in the line of duty.
Stephen Grismer, a retired Dayton Police sergeant and trustee of the Dayton Police History Foundation, said law enforcement officers have always come together to support one another when one is killed in the line of duty, because of the “esprit de corps” and unity they feel.
“They’re special events. They’re very heartfelt,” Grismer said. “Police officers band together because they have in so many ways had similar experiences on the street. And those experiences entail everything from the danger to the joys of the job.”
People attending the noon service are asked to arrive at UD Arena no later than 11:15 a.m. to ensure being seated on time, as metal detectors will be used at all entrances. Arena doors will open at 10 a.m.
The motorcade after the service will close numerous roads (see box) as it rolls from Dayton to Oakwood and from Kettering to Centerville. The Downtown Dayton Partnership said the procession will likely pass through downtown between 2:15 and 4:30 p.m., and depending on the number of vehicles in the procession, it could last as long as two hours.
The motorcade will leave UD Arena northbound on Edwin Moses Boulevard, turn right on Third Street and pass Dayton Police Headquarters at 335 W. Third St. downtown. It will then will loop around the east side of downtown, along Webster, Monument, Keowee, Fifth, Wayne, Wyoming and Brown streets, eventually going south past the University of Dayton and connecting with Far Hills Avenue in Oakwood.
Dayton, Oakwood and Kettering schools are all dismissing early Tuesday so they can bus children home before the road closures take effect. That will also affect busing for charter and Catholic schools that rely on public school buses.
Dayton Public Schools officials said each school will dismiss two hours early — meaning schools that normally finish between 2 and 4 p.m. will dismiss between noon and 2 p.m. Families with questions about either DPS’ yellow bus procedures or RTA service for high schoolers are asked to contact their school’s principal.
Kettering schools are also closing two hours early to bus students home before the motorcade, meaning a 12:30 p.m. closure for the elementaries, 1:05 for the high school, and 1:40 for the middle schools.
Oakwood schools are closing one hour early. They told students who normally participate in after-school activities to contact their coaches or advisers directly regarding any rescheduling.
“Our thoughts and prayers go out to Detective Del Rio’s family, friends and brothers in blue during this difficult time,” Oakwood schools officials said in a statement. “We appreciate Detective Del Rio’s life-long service and sacrifice to keep our community safe.”
Centerville police and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office will be controlling traffic on Far Hills Avenue from Rahn Road south to I-675 in order to clear all the procession vehicles from the area after they reach the funeral home.
Long delays are expected during this process as all southbound traffic on Far Hills will be stopped and northbound traffic will be shut down at Far Hills and I-675 to allow procession vehicles to enter northbound I-675.
Police are urging people to use alternative routes in the Centerville area between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Del Rio was shot Nov. 4 while serving a search warrant on a suspected drug house. He died Thursday. Del Rio is preceded in death by one daughter and survived by his wife, four daughters, three granddaughters and another grandchild on the way, Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said.
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