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Hundreds honor, remember killed Calloway County deputy at funeral

Liam Niemeyer
Kentucky State Police troopers salute as Cash's casket is wheeled out to the hearse.

Hundreds of people including representatives from more than three dozen local law enforcement agencies across the state came to Murray Saturday for a funeral to honor a Calloway County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was recently killed in a shooting.

Over 500 people filed into the CFSB Center on Murray State University’s campus representing law enforcement from cities as far as Covington, Kentucky, to remember 44-year-old Calloway Chief Deputy Jody Cash. The law enforcement officer was killed in front of the Marshall County Sheriff’s Office in a shooting that’s still under investigation.

Many law enforcement officers were in full uniform, some from agencies that Cash worked in. The Princeton native was a Kentucky State Police trooper for seven years. He also served with the Murray State University Police Department for more than a decade and served as a deputy with the Caldwell County Sheriff’s Office.

Hopkinsville Police Department Captain Kyle Spurlin said he worked with Cash several times and that the funeral was emotional for him. He paused for a moment before mentioning how Cash’s funeral reminded him of how his department lost an officer in the recent past.

“Today is definitely a tough loss for all of us in the law enforcement community,” Spurlin said. “What an honorable time to be able to see somebody who was such a good guy, such a good officer be remembered like this.”

Liam Niemeyer
The funeral for Jody Cash inside the CFSB Center on Murray State University's campus.

Mayfield Police Department Chief Nathan Kent – who described Cash as a friend – and Cash’s Sunday school teacher spoke before the crowd, telling stories about the law enforcement officer’s sense of humor, his empathy for others and his Christian faith. Kent spoke directly to Cash’s family at times, saying Cash “lived out a servant’s heart.”

“I’ve heard it said this week that Jody was a great friend to many in good times and bad,” Kent said. “Boy, does that ring true.”

Cash’s casket, draped in an American flag, was then taken out of the arena to be buried in a Murray cemetery. Bagpipes played while Kentucky State Police troopers saluted as the casket was placed into a hearse.

The Calloway County community lined the streets along the funeral procession route with American flags and flags representing the “thin blue line.” Althia Caldwell got off of work at a local bank and brought her nephew to see law enforcement cruisers driving by representing the city of Frankfort, Kentucky, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, the U.S. Forest Service and more.

“They’re people like everybody else, so I think they’re a really important part of the community,” Caldwell said.

Her brother was an officer with the Murray Police Department who died shortly after he retired in 2015. She remembers the procession law enforcement had for her brother as “heartfelt” — the first time she had ever seen such a thing. She now wanted to pay the same respect to Cash.

“Cash, everybody seemed to know him,” Caldwell said. “He worked in so many different divisions and he seemed to be just a really, really well-respected guy.”

Liam Niemeyer
The hearse taking Cash's casket, draped with an American flag, to a Murray cemetery.

"Liam Niemeyer is a reporter for the Ohio Valley Resource covering agriculture and infrastructure in Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia and also serves Assistant News Director at WKMS. He has reported for public radio stations across the country from Appalachia to Alaska, most recently as a reporter for WOUB Public Media in Athens, Ohio. He is a recent alumnus of Ohio University and enjoys playing tenor saxophone in various jazz groups."
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