BARDSTOWN, KY (WAVE) - Seven years to the day before fallen Bardstown Police Officer Jason Ellis was laid to rest, he made a career change. He left his dream job playing minor league baseball and began living his second dream of being a police officer. Over the years, he gave untold hours of service to the Bardstown community. Thursday it was very clear that service left a mark that will never be forgotten.
"Jason was a family man worth praising. He was also a friend worth having. Jason was a follower of a call worth answering," said Ellis' brother-in-law Brandon Young.
"He knew that whenever he died, whenever that would be as a child of God, he'd be going straight to heaven," said Ellis' childhood pastor, Reverend Brent Snook.
What was clear as friends and strangers alike said goodbye to Officer Ellis is that he was a dedicated police officer.
"He was proud of what he did, the drugs that he took off the street, the criminals he arrested," said Bardstown Police Chief Rick McCubbin.
An estimated 2,000 people honored Ellis, so many of them were fellow officers who likely never met him. Those who did and who worked with him every day or who watched him grow throughout his short life used the word that many will forever associate with Officer Ellis: hero.
"Jason, I know you're here," McCubbin said. "I know you're with us and just like you ended your conversations, 'You're my chief,' you are our hero, you must know that your chief will not stand down. Jason, my friend, rest easy. We've got it from here."
"He lived a hero's life, he died a hero's death and he deserves all the honor and praise that he is receiving here today," Snook said.
It took about 90 minutes after the funeral for all of those officers honoring Ellis to file out of the church and leave in the procession that made its way for 22 miles through Bardstown, past the police department here and then to High View Cemetery in Chaplin, Kentucky.
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