Funeral service for Taylor police Cpl. Edwards is private

Thursday’s funeral service for Taylor police Cpl. Matthew Edwards will be private and limited to family members, police officers, other dignitaries and members of Beacon Baptist Church in Taylor.

Limited seating will not allow enough room at the church for the general public. Thousands of police officers from around the country are expected to be in attendance for the funeral.

Cpl. Edwards was killed in the line of duty on July 23. The funeral service is scheduled for noon Thursday at Beacon Baptist. Members of the public are encouraged to pay their respects to the procession that will go from the church to Michigan Memorial Park Cemetery in Huron Township.

The procession – which will included hundreds of vehicles – will travel west on Northline Road to Pardee Road, north on Pardee to Goddard Road, west on Goddard to Middlebelt Road and south on Middlebelt to the cemetery.

Taylor police said the procession will pass the Taylor Police Department and City Hall on Goddard about 1:30 p.m. City employees are expected to line the curbside during the procession. Taylor firefighters will station fire trucks on both sides of Goddard and have a U.S. Flag hanging from their ladders over Goddard. City offices are closed Thursday.

Police said that Northline Road will be closed between Allen and Racho roads on Thursday from 8 a.m. until about 3 p.m. Vehicles in the funeral procession will be parked in four of the five lanes of Northline. The fifth lane will be open for emergencies. Northline will remain closed until all vehicles in the funeral procession advance to Pardee.

Access to businesses on Northline will be allowed from Allen Road only. All traffic eastbound on Northline from Pardee, with the exception of those associated with the funeral, will be detoured southbound on Racho Road.

Vehicles lining up for the funeral procession starting at Beacon Baptist have been asked to approach the church from the east and line up facing west on Northline Road.

Police said that cars will be stationed at intersections to block roads so the lengthy procession will be able to make its way to the cemetery. All crossroads will be blocked along the funeral procession route.

Public visitation concludes at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Howe-Peterson Funeral Home, 9800 Telegraph Road, Taylor.

Members of the Taylor Police Department continue to grieve over the loss of their comrade. Officers thanked the community for its overwhelming support and generosity in this most difficult time.

The Police Department has been working with the Wayne County Prosecutors Office since Friday and expects charges to be issued by week’s end. The defendant remains hospitalized and arraignment will take place as soon as practical.

Cpl. Edwards 31, was killed about 6 a.m. July 23 while responding to a call of breaking and entering in the 12400 block of Pine Street in the Coppertree Townhouses.

Cpl. Edwards and his partner confronted a man matching the description in the parking lot. Cpl. Edwards encountered the defendant, a 36-year-old Westland man. Witnesses told police that Cpl. Edwards was speaking with the defendant when they saw the defendant pull out a gun and shoot the officer.

Cpl. Edwards’ partner returned fire, shooting the defendant several times. The defendant was taken to a nearby hospital and underwent surgery. He was listed in stable condition.

Cpl. Edwards was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Cpl. Edwards joined the Taylor Police Department in January 2005. He was a decorated officer and was named Officer of the Year in 2008 by the Police Officers Association of Michigan.

He was the first officer killed in the line of duty in the history of the Taylor Police Department.

Cpl. Edwards is survived by his wife and two young children.

Two memorial funds for the family have been established. The public can make donations to the “Cpl. Matthew Edwards Memorial Fund” at any branch of PNC Bank.

A second private fund has been established with the Thin Blue Line of Michigan, also at PNC Bank. Donations also may be mailed to the Thin Blue Line of Michigan at P.O. Box 415, Howell, MI 48844, for a tax-deductible receipt. Cards of condolence and donations may be sent to the P.O. Box. Refer to account number 4244-507084.

Several police departments will provide patrols and officers in the City of Taylor so that Taylor officers can attend the funeral.