Illinois town gathers to remember Chester police officer killed during chase

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CHESTER, IL (KPLR) - The people of Chester, Illinois will say good-bye to a police officer killed in the line of duty Thursday. Wednesday night a visitation was held in the high school gym the same place the funeral will be held Thursday morning.

One man at the visitation said, “It`s tough he was a hometown boy this community loved him.”  They came to school to pay their respect to the family of Officer James Brockmeyer.  Tom Page is the mayor of Chester, “James is known for the smile he always had on his face. He was a people person.”

The 22-year-old officer was killed Friday in a crash while pursuing a driver who failed to pull over during a traffic stop. His patrol car went off the road. Tuesday afternoon a suspect in that case, 34-year-old Jason Michael Stoker was arrested in St. Louis.

Right now, the Chester community is focused on the grief and pain of losing a man who put his life on the line for them. Jim Straight knew Brockmeyer, “He's funny he knows when you were kidding with him and he'd just go along with you he was a good guy.”

The response by citizens can be seen everywhere. From the cookies and baked goods that were dropped off at the police department by Girl Scouts. To the blue light bulbs and stickers honoring Officer Brockmeyer that are being sold.

People are flying the American flag that honors fallen cops. This man was putting a blue ribbon outside the post office. Tom Schweizer knows the family, “He and my son were pretty good friends on the fire department and everything thing, just a bad deal for everybody.”

In front of city hall there`s a giant sympathy card signed by hundreds and hundreds of elementary school children.  Page added, “Just a horrific situation there`s not much you can say to make it sound any better other than he was a brave fine young policeman.”

Officer Brockmeyer graduated from the school in 2012, now four years later his funeral will be held there.