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 May 3, 2005
Thousands attend funeral for detective slain with his own gun
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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- Waving flags and holding signs that said �thank you,� several hundred residents joined thousands of police officers and firefighters in paying tribute to a detective killed in the line of duty.

As Detective Sgt. James Allen�s coffin made its slow journey to a Cranston cemetery after a funeral Mass at his family�s St. Thomas Church Thursday, onlookers flooded city streets, saluting the 27-year veteran.

A procession of about 5,000 uniformed officers from around the

country accompanied Allen�s flag-draped coffin, which was carried

�When I think about Jimmy, three things come to mind: faith, family and the police department,� said Cmdr. Paul Kennedy, who delivered the eulogy for Allen.

The detective was killed Sunday inside Providence police headquarters when a man he was questioning in the stabbing of an elderly woman allegedly grabbed his gun and shot him, before jumping out a third story window. Police arrested Esteban Carpio, 26, about an hour later and charged him with murder.

�It�s a tragic loss,� said West Warwick Police Chief Peter Brousseau. �It�s a loss deeply felt by all officers.�

Mourners who couldn�t get a seat in the 450-capacity church for the funeral Mass overflowed onto the lawn outside and nearby streets. Others gathered in the church basement and a school auditorium where video screens had been set up.

Kennedy praised Allen, 50, for his sharp mind and gentle spirit.  He said Allen had an uncanny ability to remember faces, names and numbers. He said Allen�s combination of kindness and attention to detail made him a master investigator.

�If you were a victim of crime, if you were someone in need, he wanted to help,� Kennedy said. �It wasn�t about a promotion, it wasn�t about a notch on his belt.�

Kennedy also drew laughter as he told how Allen met his wife when he investigated a break-in at her house.

�He brought the report personally ... and he made other excuses for follow-up visits,� Kennedy said.

Allen�s wife, Marguerite, and two teenage daughters sat quietly at the front of the church. Behind them were Allen�s brothers, mother and father, a former Providence police captain.

Allen�s casket was covered with a white sheet while in the church. A wreath of red roses sat on the stage at the front of the church.

Mourners wept as Lt. Mary Day sang a song, �St. Michael By His Side,� invoking the patron saint of police officers, which she wrote in 1994 for another fallen officer.

�You walked among the bravest of all men. As a hero, you lived and died,� Day sang. �Brother, can you hear us and all this pain we feel inside. And, brother, will you guide us with St. Michael by your side.�

Providence police officers wore a black pin bearing Allen�s badge number, 297, above their own badges, which were covered by black mourning bands.

Lt. Gov. Charles Fogarty, who went to high school with Allen, said his friend would�ve been embarrassed by all of the attention.

�Everybody that knew him knew what a good person he was,� Fogarty said after the service. �He was a humble guy who never sought glory. That�s why he was so worthy of it.�


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