Independence Police Department mourns loss of fellow officer

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INDEPENDENCE, Mo. — The Independence Police Department is mourning the loss of a fellow officer.

Sergeant John Bullard retired but remained active in the department until his death to COVID-19 on August 11th.


Retired Independence officer dies from COVID-19, department says

“People become a apart of your life,” John Cato, Independence Police Officer said. “A part of your consciousness. You rely on them and no that’s never easy to lose someone that you’re close to.”

A procession was held on Thursday where Sgt. Bullard was taken from the hospital to the funeral home — after fighting hard against COVID-19.

“We love you and miss you,” Cato said.

Bullard’s grieving loved ones, brothers and sisters in blue followed him, but all of the people there were just a glimpse of the impact he had had on people’s lives.

“He’s a guy that would probably do anything for you,” Jack Taylor, Independence Police Spokesperson said.  “I mean he would give you the shirt off his back if he needed to.”

The 64-year-old worked in the department for 46 years and after he retired, Sgt. Bullard was active in the department’s reserve unit.

Bullard was a mentor to many and worked his way up in many roles including a dispatcher, officer, K-9 sergeant, and detective sergeant.

“When you’re around that many years, you’re kind of filtered through everything,” Cato said.  “So, John had a definite passion and interest for police work and had a lot of experience.”

Bullard was a dad, a husband, a son and will be remembered and missed by many.

“The uniqueness of John is shared with so many other people that give their lives and service to others and as long as people continue to do that, we really still have John with us,” said Cato.

Visitation will be held Thursday, August 19, 2021, from 5pm-8pm.


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Funeral will be Friday, August 14, 2021, at 11:00am.

Both will be held at the Community of Christ Auditorium, 1001 W. Walnut, Independence, MO 64050

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