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Police turn out in force for funeral

Police officers from as far away as Alabama came to Pinellas County on Friday to honor one of their fallen comrades.

At a funeral service at the First Baptist Church of Indian Rocks, more than 2,000 uniformed officers paid tribute to Belleair police Officer Jeffery Tackett who died Sunday after he was shot with his own gun while attempting to arrest a burglar.

Police say Tackett bled to death on the grass behind the Pelican Place condominium complex. He was working alone at the time of his death.

A suspect, Lorenzo Lamar Jenkins, 31, was arrested a few hours later on a street in downtown Clearwater. Jenkins, charged with first-degree murder, remains in the Pinellas County Jail.

At Tackett's funeral, the Rev. Charlie Martin, pastor of the church, said people should "pray more diligently for the men and women who are protecting our streets." Tackett's family, Martin said, can take comfort in knowing "that he died in service to his community."

Following an hour-long procession from the church to Serenity Gardens on Indian Rocks Road on Friday afternoon, Tackett was buried.

Tackett was the only Belleair police officer to ever die in the line of duty.

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