Thousands expected to attend funeral for fallen HCSO Deputy Darren Goforth

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Thousands are expected to gather to remember HCSO Deputy Darren Goforth. Tracy Clemons reports on the preparations for his funeral and tribute services. (Harris County Sheriff's Office)

Flags fly at half-staff outside the church where thousands will pay final respects to Deputy Darren Goforth Friday.

"Our church has a unique opportunity to minister to our police force, our sheriff's office, our fire department," says Sr. Associate Pastor Gary Moore.

Photos from this story

Referring to a group of men and women who are watching their backs like never before.

"When a deputy that's just finished working an ax, and is putting fuel in his car and getting a drink has something happen like that just rattles us to the core," says Harris County Sheriff's Office Assistant Chief David Dixon.

Dixon is with the Reserve Command. He says they're all feeling the same thing. Officers from near and far are expected to pack the house at Second Baptist Church to say a final goodbye. Senior Associate Pastor Gary Moore says anyone from the public planning to attend should plan ahead.

"...Traffic is going to be an issue. We have a lot of parking, but a person would need to get here pretty early to get a spot," Moore says.

All things ceremonial will happen right outside the church: the folding of the flag, the 21-gun salute, playing of TAPS, and the helicopter flyover. There will be no procession like we're used to seeing. Instead, a small group will go with his body north on Voss, to the Katy Freeway Feeder Road and to a closed burial at Woodlawn Cemetery. The public will be able to line the streets if they'd like, but at their own risk.

"When the family leaves here and the honor guard leaves here, it's pretty much in their hands. We bring them up through that ceremony and at that point, we need to let them grieve privately," says Moore.

Lt. Governor Dan Patrick challenged the public Wednesday to start changing the negative attitude toward law enforcement. His list of ways to do that included calling them sir or ma'am, putting law enforcement charities on your giving list.

Here is a photo that was released by the family of Harris County Deputy Darren Goforth.

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