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Gathering to honor one of their own

What a totally senseless act beyond comprehension - the fatal shooting of veteran Bismarck police officer Sgt. Steven Kenner while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Friday, July 8.

Funeral services have been set for tomorrow, July 14, at 10 a.m. at the Bismarck Civic Center, with visitation today from 6 to 9 p.m. at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church.

When a tragedy like this occurs, it quickly becomes apparent how strong and close a bond the police community has formed among its brotherhood of members.

On that note, the tribute to Sgt. Kenner will go nationwide Thursday with not only police officers from across the state but a number from across the nation expected in Bismarck to show their respect and pay homage to the man who by all reports was a true hero - highly regarded as 'one of the finest brothers in blue.'

Locally, West Fargo Police Department officials will be in Bismarck today to assist with the out-of-town guests, and tomorrow additional officers will be attending the service.

The mayor of Bismarck has ordered flags throughout their community to be flown at half-staff until after Sgt. Kenner's funeral.

Words at a time like this are never adequate.

Condolences have been expressed both on state and national levels by members of the North Dakota congressional delegation. The comments from former Governor John Hoeven, now serving in the U.S. Senate, perhaps expresses sentiment best.

"As longtime residents of Bismarck, Mikey and I are deeply saddened by Sergeant Kenner's tragic death. His family, friends and neighbors, and the Bismarck Police Department are in our thoughts and prayers during this difficult time. North Dakota is consistently ranked as one of the safest states in the nation, in large part because of the courage and commitment of officers like Sergeant Kenner. He served the community with dedication and honor, and we owe him and his family a tremendous debt."