Hodgenville prepares for large crowd at fallen officer's funeral - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Hodgenville prepares for large crowd at fallen officer's funeral

Officer Mark Taulbee (Source: LaRue County Herald News) Officer Mark Taulbee (Source: LaRue County Herald News)
Until Officer Mark Taulbee's death, the Hodgenville Police Department had five officers on its force. Until Officer Mark Taulbee's death, the Hodgenville Police Department had five officers on its force.
Steve Johnson is the chief of the Hodgenville Police Department in LaRue County. Steve Johnson is the chief of the Hodgenville Police Department in LaRue County.
Mayor Terry Cruse spoke with WAVE 3's Katherine Kington about Officer Taulbee's death. Mayor Terry Cruse spoke with WAVE 3's Katherine Kington about Officer Taulbee's death.
The flag next to the Lincoln statue in the center of the Hodgenville square is at half-staff in Officer Taulbee's honor. The flag next to the Lincoln statue in the center of the Hodgenville square is at half-staff in Officer Taulbee's honor.

HODGENVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Three days after the tragic death of one of its police officers in the line of duty, the city of Hodgenville is preparing for a large crowd for his funeral.

Early Sunday morning, Officer Mark Taulbee was pursuing Jason L. Avis on Campbellsville Road. Avis was wanted for allegedly stealing a vehicle. Officer Taulbee lost control of his patrol car, ran off the road and crashed into a ditch. He died at University of Louisville Hospital later that morning.

As Hodgenville Mayor Terry Cruse prepared for Friday's funeral, he said he still remembers the conversation he had with Taulbee not long ago in which Taulbee asked to be part of the Hodgenville Police Department. "He was fair, he was pleasant, but he was all business, and I like that in a policeman," Cruise said. "Mark had a lot of respect for himself. He had a lot of respect for what he did. It was something that he always wanted to do."

Mayor Cruse said the city is expecting a huge turnout for Taulbee's funeral.

"I think it's going to be overwhelming as far as the police community of what's going to be here Friday," Cruise said. "Our City Hall is going to close Thursday at noon, and it will be closed Friday."  The Lincoln Boulevard area will be shut down as well on Friday to ease traffic.

Mayor Cruse said the loss of Officer Taulbee has been hard on police officers in surrounding areas. "I think this event brings into reality how quickly things can go from routine to a matter of life and death," Cruse said, "and I think that brings that reality to home."

Officer Taulbee's funeral will be at Hodgenville Civic Center at noon on Friday. Visitation will be held at the same location will Thursday from 3 to 8 p.m. and Friday from 9 a.m. until the funeral begins at noon.

Jason Avis is charged with wanton endangerment and fleeing or evading from police.

Copyright 2012 WAVE News.  All rights reserved.

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