A massive contingent of law enforcement officers and dignitaries are expected to attend Ocala Police Chief Greg Graham’s funeral.
The service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at the First Baptist Church of Ocala. There will be outdoor seating in the baseball field area of the church and the service will be broadcast onto a large screen.
Those attending the service are being asked to wear masks, practice sanitation measures and maintain social distancing due to the COVID-19 pandemic. There will be specific seating areas for family, law enforcement/uniformed personnel, dignitaries and the public. There is a capacity limit at the church because of the pandemic.
Those unable to attend the service can view it on Tribucast by clicking HERE or via the Ocala Police Department’s website at www.ocalapd.com under “I want to” and “View Live Feed.”
Following the service, a law enforcement vehicle procession will escort Graham’s body to the Marion County/Alachua County line. He will be interred in Melrose during a private ceremony for family and close friends.
Those not attending the funeral service are being encouraged to avoid the area of S.E. Maricamp Road, U.S. Hwy. 441 and U.S. 301 north from Ocala to Gainesville between 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. Congestion is expected in that area because of road blocks that will be set up for the procession.
Those who plan to pay their respects to the fallen chief along the roadside are being asked to do so in a safe manner and be in place prior to 11:30 a.m. They also are being asked to avoid blocking driveways, roadways and entrances to businesses.
Graham was killed late Sunday morning when the single-engine plane he was piloting crashed in an open field near Dunnellon. He was the only occupant of the aircraft and no one else was injured in the crash.
The chief’s body was returned to Ocala on Tuesday morning with a police escort from the Medical Examiner’s office in Leesburg. He was taken to Hiers-Baxley funeral home in a procession that traveled past saluting officers and other bystanders outside the police department’s headquarters on Pine Avenue.