Craig Lehner Funeral: Buffalo Police Officer Tommy Champion

WBEN Extras
Wednesday, October 25th

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

This is the live coverage of the services and fallen buffalo police officer Craig complainer here at the key bank center in downtown buffalo in here is officer Tommy champion. Mortar. I can't let you listen it's awful. Out first it like to recognize the semi loaf. To later family. Will weather this tough time courage. An admirable resilience. These traits that now nor shared their genetic make up. Traits that I. About the pledge of observing for sin for almost two years as pricks partner and friend. I personally Craig that law enforcement training academy after we restored in but awful police on January 18 2000. I've always been a bit cautious with do people. And off the watch and observe them making assessments as I went on. I remember seeing him passing here and there is a big muscular guy back then proceed to handle its rating Moody's. I do your couple boisterous eruptions among groups of the guys that I glanced over. And are always fighting somewhere near the center of it with a large mischievous grin on his face. Which was sometimes be read from laughing. My immediate thought was. Discussing like a bit of a character. And later we'll find out just all right I was. Turned our fitness training got her from other cadets that he was suffering from the bad hernia. I could imagine how painful that was. Yet whenever. He reports of the Joseph far fitness training. Consisting of a total pushups sit ups crutches running. And best of tactics training. I've looked over it didn't could at later. Who was still doing at all. I knew that he wasn't paying. Yet here was this guy doing more reps than most people there despite being hurt. That was the sort of toughness. That I could come to expect from him all the time. We eventually graduated the academy. And we were both since he district to begin our supervise still trading. He trade during the day. And I the afternoon. After our trading was over he was Strasser. At least of my afternoon platoon we're your the only rookies on a platoon of veteran officers. Crib would be assigned to worked in the same sector which was before sector. So would both respond so to say dispatch calls. I've always prided myself for being able to speak to people calmly. And respect. While also being firmer it was necessary. I remember talking to Biden somewhat concerning a landlord tenant dispute. And seeing correct pull up an escrow the patrol car to assist me. He listened to the complaint this issue the began to advise them. Practically. Officially. Respectfully. This was important to be as I grew up in that community it was a product of the inner city. I said the muscle while discuss our. I was surprised than normal suspects at how good it how capable he was. At how well he treated people. Every pollster has to restraints and there's varying styles and ways of working. A cricket muscle seem to be on the same page in that we do we worked. Almost this year ideology. That we've seen through bad. We both like the same music. Working out muscle cars. Has similar views like the same activities and forward. It was only a matter of time it's a one data beginning of our shift he walked over to me what was inside a much patrol car in the parking lot. He looked and went to it's that. They've Rome when ride together. And that's typical Greg went. A little bit I know bellowed viewed giggle bond. And a journey together that would Trace in this life itself. We became almost inseparable. If you sold one you're the other one was around. It was by one to one tree. We've formed a smaller group of close knit friends. Who laughed like children we're together. Together cricket I worked meticulously put an emphasis on diplomacy. I respect what also being extremely productive and active. But we always took care business or yet to. Who became extremely good at doing our own investigating or tracking down suspects who were bought it. No matter how dangerous. I can always count on them having my back and without question. I always said is. More importantly. We had enormous fun. Imagine working as a young police officer with your best friend every single day. We have got our ritual called a patrol car whatever cred with c.s sold in a cart next to us rocking else seeing in their music. Completely lost their own world. He looked over at the start dancing to the same song. Prompting nude through the sale of the drivers always burst out laughing hysterically or started cheering him on their hands though as we drove off toward Iowa call. Those the uber beauty the brilliance. Of my partner. What does an axle. What an incredible life of public service. Sacrifice. And dedication. Hearing his accomplishments. As an athlete and a decorated soldier throw me deployments emissions. And a decorated police also later canine officer. He almost sounds unreal. Not to mention I'd be remiss. If I didn't also acknowledge the fact that he walked around looking like a darn movie star. With his flowing blond locks and chat service. Athletic physique. And that Kelly's are forever through his. He was always a favorite among the latest. Propping gust. Hit as is threads to respond to him jokingly with a viral saying whatever Bradley Cooper. Or my favorite. Critters got to correct. He did things is what. Chris got this crazy Al there's a secure. This unflappable demeanor. An ability to an apologetic we beat himself at all times no matter what you thought. That seems so simplistic. But in actuality take such courage. Such audacity. To commit to living once liked the way you choose and refusing to compromise and settle for anything less. His commitment to public service I imagine with the extension of that conviction. As he frequently spoke about a better nation. A better future. At a good role. You understood that he wasn't just working a job. He was using his life to try and impact the world. And be good a better place in his wake. In that same spirit. So all the military service members. First responders. At totals of law enforcement. Especially those who got the pleasure of serving alongside. I see you. Do not be dismayed. Although we sit here. Hart said he. I broke it. Although we go rattle. And we're. Although sometimes it feels like the world no longer respects the sacrifices that we make. Scrutinizes us it treats our patriotism. And dedication as an anachronism. A relic belonging in the past. We shall not you know. We shall not falter. We will continue working toward a better tomorrow. Carrying golf balls that we all solemnly evolved through. This is who we are. In this world needs us. We will continue not. To not only gaze into the abyss. But to stare down its evils. So that everyone else to look away from it. God willing. We will have the strength to climb back out of it ever search our families. Only to return to do next state. And hope to climb out of it once more. Once more to darkness. To coral home. What's more into the fray. Let the memory of my friend. My partner. My brother. Not distrust you. Not debilitating you. But instead let it inspire you. Let it motivate us to display the same unwavering courage and professionalism. Sense of duty. And fearless dedication of mankind. A reminder for us to unite. And the love and respect one another. Maybe this memory give us strength. Forging our resolve. The Kerio. Certain people have such a large presence that you think their soul couldn't possibly be restricted nor contain. I just this physical existence alone. So fittingly. Got his game one of our best soldiers. As an Angel is army. And I refused to say good bye. Look around you. His best presidents. Is still here were let's. The memories still fresh in our minds. And our hearts. And I know OC we give one bit. If so every day that passes it will be one step closer. To reuniting with my dear friend. And my partner. And because of that I smile. And I do not fear that did. Gutless you'll. Look at creek. An amazing job there.