When Brentwood police Officer Steve Arkell was slain last month, dozens of Southern New Hampshire police officers traveled to the memorial service in Exeter.
But most local police departments were not able to send officers Tuesday to the funeral for three slain Royal Canadian Mounted Police officers killed June 4 in Moncton, New Brunswick.
Two exceptions were the Pelham Police Department and New Hampshire State Police, both of whom sent members to the service.
Pelham Officers Brian Kelly and Matthew Keenliside made the nearly 900-mile journey to Canada, leaving in their cruiser at 2:30 a.m. and returning at midnight. Thousands of officers attended the service.
“We just felt it was right to show our support,” Kelly said yesterday.
New Hampshire State Police also sent a representative to the funeral for Constables Fabrice Gevaudan, Douglas Larche and Dave Ross, Maj. Christopher AuCoin said.
“It’s right to show support for a fellow law enforcement agency,” AuCoin said. “We could have sent more, but the distance and logistics (made it difficult).”
Although officials from other departments said they would have liked to support the Mounties and their families, the cost and the nine-hour trip made it tough to justify.
“We are too small,” Newton police Chief Lawrence Streeter said. “We like to participate as much as possible, but there are limits. New Brunswick, we certainly grieve for them.”
Streeter said his department is limited to traveling only to nearby states for officer funerals.
“You would like to participate in all of them,” he said, “but it’s just not doable.”
Police officials from Derry, Salem, Londonderry, Plaistow and Atkinson also said they were unable to send representatives.
But when Kelly and Keenliside approached Pelham police Chief Joseph Roark and asked to attend on their own time, Roark agreed they should represent the department.