A steady stream of people, both uniformed public safety officers and civilians, arrived at Mountain Christian Church's New Life Center in Joppa ahead of the 2 p.m. start of Tuesday's viewing for slain Harford County Sheriff's Office Deputy Patrick Dailey.
"It's been a huge outpouring on the part of the community toward the family and toward law enforcement," Ben Cachiaras, senior pastor at Mountain Christian, said.
There has been "a steady steam of well wishers to pay tribute" at the viewing, he said at the second day of mourning for Senior Deputy Dailey and his colleague, Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon, who were both shot to death Feb. 10.
"I think a lot of people are just wanting to make sure they know the community is behind them and cares about them," Cachiaras said of local law enforcement.
Municipal and county elected leaders were among the stream of people at the viewing, as well as Bel Air Town Administrator and former sheriff Jesse Bane, Bel Air Police Chief Chuck Moore and Aberdeen Police Chief Henry Trabert.
"It's more than just these two families [of the slain deputies]," Cachiaras said. "It's the whole law enforcement, and public services community, really, firefighters and EMTs."
The pastor said church staff, augmented by "hundreds" of volunteers, have been working to provide "warmth and [attend to] some the personal wishes of the family, and of course to help people connect to their faith in God at a time of tragedy."
Cachiaras noted the slain deputies were not members of Mountain Christian, but "we have friendships with them
"We're deeply involved in the community, and so were these guys and we're happy to be connected in this way to serve," he said.
The New Life Center has a seating capacity of about 1,600, and church staff are preparing two overflow spaces for Wednesday's funeral to hold up to 900 more people, according to the pastor.
The viewing is scheduled to last through 9 p.m. Tuesday, with a 7 p.m. fire service memorial to Senior Deputy Dailey, an active life member of the Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company.
The funeral is scheduled to start at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the church. Motorists are being advised that Route 152 in the vicinity of the church will be closed to traffic. Gov. Larry Hogan's office said he will be attending.
Other road closures are contemplated following the service, when a motorcade will escort the fallen deputy north on Route 152 to Route 1 in Fallston and then to Bel Air, where it will pass the Sheriff's Office headquarters on Main Street and conclude at the McComas Funeral Home on Broadway.
Forest Hill resident Don Hoover, 65, was among the civilians who attended Tuesday's visitation.
He said he did not know Senior Deputy Dailey personally, but he is acquainted with Sheriff Jeffrey Gahler, who he said is "absolutely a wonderful gentleman."
Hoover said Gahler frequents a Dunkin' Donuts in Fallston at Route 152 and Route 1 in Fallston, and the sheriff takes the time to talk with Hoover and his friends when they cross paths at the shop.
"I can't overstate enough what a gentleman he is," Hoover said.
He said he wanted to pay his respects to the sheriff and Senior Deputy Dailey's family.
"A situation like this I feel hits the whole community," Hoover said.
Erin Peddicord, of Abingdon said she is still in shock about the death of Senior Deputy Dailey, who she said was a long-time friend.
"I'm still in shock because it's been what, over 100 years?" she said, referring to the last time a Sheriff's Office deputy was murdered.
Peddicord used to work with the Harford County EMS Foundation, acting as a foundation liaison with the Joppa-Magnolia, Fallston, Abingdon, Level and Susquehanna Hose fire companies. Senior Deputy Dailey was an active life member at Joppa-Magnolia.
"This place is so crowded today," she said as she left the visitation.
Peddicord said she knew Senior Deputy Dailey more as a law enforcement officer than a fire company member, though, and she would often see him when he was serving court papers.
She noted he would ride the Joppa-Magnolia fire truck on his days off.
"He was very trustworthy, very friendly, and he would put you at ease," Peddicord said.
She said Senior Deputy Dailey is "going to be very, very missed because a lot of people knew him."
Peddicord, who is retired and is a full-time grandmother now, said the senior deputy would stop and talk with her grandson when he visited her neighborhood to serve court papers.
"My grandson was just tickled," she recalled.
Cachiaras said several church members were dining in the Abingdon Panera Bread when Senior Deputy Dailey was fatally shot by David Brian Evans inside the crowded restaurant.
The restaurant reopened Tuesday morning. Cachiaras said one member wanted to get back "right away" to talk with employees and "start the healing process."
"A lot of [members] are finding support with each other as they talk among themselves about what they experienced," he said.