Community rallies behind slain TPD officer’s family

TOPEKA (KSNT) – Topeka police officers said today they’re going to look after the family of one of their own, killed in the line of duty last fall.

They are holding a benefit for Corporal Jason Harwoods family in two weeks.

The Topeka Chapter of the Fraternal Order of Police want to send Jason Harwood’s family to Washington D.C.

The way they’ve decided to raise the money for that trip is, a bit unusual and it’s called “Zumba.”

For those not familiar with it, it’s a combination of dance an exercise.

“We just wanna do what we can, not only to raise money but also to come together as a community and honor Corporal Harwood for his sacrifice for our community,” says Christina Cook, event organizer.

Harwood was making a routine car stop on September 7th when he was shot dead.

The 15-year police veteran left behind a wife and two sons.

The city mourned the loss during a packed funeral which drew law enforcement officers from around the region.

Now, organizers want to help his family, using the “Zumbathon” to raise the money to send them to the national peace officer’s memorial in Washington D.C. and to attend workshops for families which have gone through similar tragedies.

“It’s gonna be a lot of fun a lot of different types of dancing and even if you’re not the kind of person who likes to dance, a lot venders,” says cook.

This event will be at lee arena at Washburn University two weeks from tomorrow.

Organizers are asking for just five-dollars – but you can still attend even if you can’t afford that.

They also encourage anyone attending to wear blue to show support for the city’s police officers.

As for Harwood’s allege killer, Ross Preston lane has a preliminary hearing set for January 13th.

There have been calls for the death penalty, Shawnee county district attorney Chad Taylor tells Kansas first news that decision will come only if lane is bound over for trial.

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