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Crowds line Bel Air streets for a final salute to fallen Harford sheriff's deputy

A fire truck carrying the casket of Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey approaches the Sheriff's Office headquarters on Main Street in Bel Air following the slain officer's funeral Wednesday.
A fire truck carrying the casket of Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey approaches the Sheriff's Office headquarters on Main Street in Bel Air following the slain officer's funeral Wednesday. (BRIAN KRISTA | AEGIS STAFF / Baltimore Sun)

Along an eerily quiet Route 1 between Fallston and Bel Air and on the town's Main Street, scores of people gathered Wednesday afternoon to bid farewell to a fallen hero.

Some cried, others stood transfixed and many snapped photos with cellphones as the long motorcade of police and emergency vehicles and the fire truck bearing the casket of Senior Deputy Patrick Dailey passed by on its journey from the funeral service at Mountain Christian Church New Life Center in Joppa to the Harford County seat.

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People of all ages waved American flags, and many wore black and blue mourning ribbons, matching the banners that were hung on Main Street's lamp posts and the bows and bunting adorning many businesses and most public buildings.

Spectators lined both sides of Route 1 near Tollgate Road as the motorcade passed through the heart of the town's shopping district.

"My husband spent 27 years in the National Guard, and I think it's important to show respect for the people that serve," said Molly O'Sullivan, of Bel Air.

John Hall, of Joppa, brought his 3-year-old daughter, Miranda, to see the motorcade. A former member of Joppa-Magnolia Volunteer Fire Company where Senior Deputy Dailey was a life member, Hall said the officer "was always about helping people."

He remembered one time Senior Deputy Dailey brought his patrol car and personal car to get cleaned during a recent car wash held by the Joppa-Magnolia cadets to raise money for a trip to New York.

"He was always there to help the kids," Hall said. "He would always talk to the kids in the neighborhood."

Hall said Senior Deputy Dailey inspired his 14-year-old son Brendon, a former Joppa-Magnolia cadet who received a company Lifesaving Award in 2014, to become a volunteer firefighter and a police officer.

"He [Dailey] was always there at company meetings in his police uniform," Hall said.

Miranda Hall jumped around and giggled as she stood by her father's side. Hall said she was a baby when she met Senior Deputy Dailey, or "Mr. Pat," as he was known to many young people in the fire company.

"I just told her we were going to see Mr. Pat, and she's all happy, because she doesn't really understand what death means, but she'll learn," Hall said.

Senior Deputy Dailey, 52, was fatally shot in the line of duty Feb. 10 in Abingdon, along with Senior Deputy Mark Logsdon, 43. Visitation for Senior Deputy Logsdon is Thursday and Friday at Mountain Christian New Life Center. His funeral service is 10 a.m. Saturday at APGFCU Arena at Harford Community College.

Along Main Street, spectators also lined both sides of the street as a lead group of police motorcycles led the procession past the Sheriff's Headquarters and Court House toward its final destination at the McComas Funeral Home on North Broadway.

A group of children from St. Margaret School stood in front of the Bel Air Armory, waving flags and holding up signs.

Principal Madeleine Hobik said she wished they could have prepared more but school was closed Tuesday because of morning ice.

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"The deputies have done so much for us, this was the least we could do for them," she said.

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