Hundreds turn out for viewing of slain Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio

Several hundred people, a mix of family, friends and police officers — past and present, lined up on Belair Road on Thursday to pay their respects to slain Baltimore County Police Officer Amy Caprio.

Among them was Scott Roper, a longtime Baltimore City police officer. Though he retired from the force years ago, he said at heart he’s still a police officer.

“It’s kind of like, ‘Once a Marine, always a Marine,’” he said. When another officer is killed in action, he says, “it rips open a wound.”

Caprio, a nearly four-year veteran, was killed Monday while responding to a call in Perry Hall. Four teenagers have been charged with first-degree murder in her death.

Just outside the funeral home, two police officers embraced and sobbed. People passed out bottle of water to mourners who had waited in line for several hours under a clear blue sky, the sun shining on bare arms and necks.

Inside, Caprio’s husband, Tim, greeted people before slumping in a chair to collect himself. Above his head flashed a screen with images of him and his late wife on their wedding day. A framed photo of Caprio’s dog, Doodle, was next to the casket.

The room was filled with flowers and photos of Caprio on vacation and at her wedding. Someone printed a throw blanket with her face and an American flag on it.

Across the street from the funeral home, an automotive shop had draped black and blue fabric over their sign in tribute to the slain officer.

“It’s out of respect,” said the shop’s co-owner Bill Foltz. Police officers, he said, “lay their lives on the line every day.”

His brother had picked up the material in time for the viewing. Foltz said the killing had jarred the rural area of Perry Hall, and few feared it was a bad omen of more crime to come.

At a news conference earlier this week, Baltimore County Police Chief Terrence Sheridan praised Caprio as “the type of officer that you want to hire.”

Caprio, he said, was “smart, athletic, energetic and, not quite four years on the job, was starting to show that she had all the potential to be an excellent officer and one of the leaders of this organization in the future.”

The department also said Caprio loved the outdoors, and activities such as mountain biking and kayaking with her husband.

The funeral for Caprio will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Mountain Christian Church in Fallston, followed by a burial at Dulaney Valley Memorial Gardens.

Gov. Larry Hogan, Sheridan and four officers are expected to speak at the service Friday.

Caprio is the county’s first female officer to die in the line of duty and the 10th officer killed in the department’s nearly 150-year history.

ctkacik@baltsun.com

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