PHOTOS: Hundreds gather to honor fallen Joplin Police Officer Cpl. Ben Cooper

Cooper and Officer Jake Reed died in the line of duty following a violent shootout
Published: Mar. 15, 2022 at 9:32 PM CDT
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JOPLIN, Mo. (KY3) - Hundreds of people gathered on Tuesday to lay one of Joplin’s fallen heroes to rest.

It happens exactly one week after a deadly gunfight. A public funeral was held for Cpl. Ben Cooper. Cooper was one of two officers killed during last Tuesday’s deadly shootout. Officer Jake Reed was the other officer killed.

Hundreds of law enforcement from multiple agencies across the region and country gathered, along with many family and community members.

Following Tuesday’s funeral service, the crowd gathered outside for a Three Volley Salute conducted by the Greene County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard, a flyover, multiple law enforcement departments playing “Amazing Grace” and a trumpeter playing taps in honor of Cpl. Cooper.

Cpl. Cooper’s closest colleagues spoke during the service, including Joplin Police Chief Sloan Rowland.

“Coop never wavered in his dedication as a police officer,” Rowland said. “It’s not just a profession, it was his calling. He tried to get away from it once, he couldn’t. He came back. He truly loved his job and what he was doing.”

Hundreds circled around Cooper for one final farewell.

”Coop made the ultimate sacrifice for this community, for his family and for his brothers and sisters in the Joplin Police Department,” Rowland said during the service. “If he was standing here today, I could tell you he’d be very proud of what he’d look out and seen.”

Though many now honor Cooper for Tuesday’s sacrifice, his service extended well beyond that.

“Last Tuesday wasn’t Ben’s sacrifice,” a close colleague of Cpl. Cooper remarked during the service. “Coop’s life was a life of sacrifice. As we’ve heard today, he joined the Army right out of high school, and he served his country.

Cpl. Cooper was a beloved father, husband and brother.

“We can’t let his death consume us and overtake us,” the officer said. “We have to stand strong and say that in his death great things are going to be found. In his death, great things are going to happen.”

Cooper’s close colleagues now call the community to remember those good times. Family and friends have shared many stories in the past week.

“The stories that we share are the memories we have,” colleagues remarked during the service. “The memories that bring us joy. The memories that bring us happiness. Those are just a small glimpse of who Ben was, but it shows how he impacted lives and how he impacted lives all throughout his career.”

Joplin police have shared the following funeral arrangements for Officer Jake Reed:

  • Public visitation for Officer Reed will be held, Thursday, March 17, 2022, from 4-8 p.m. at Leggett and Platt Center located at 3950 E. Newman Rd, Joplin, Missouri on the Missouri Southern State University campus.
  • A public funeral service for Officer Reed will take place the following day on Friday, March 18, 2022, beginning 1:00pm, at the same location listed above.

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