Police from the surrounding towns and throughout New Jersey came together on Monday in Asbury Park’s Paramount Theater to honor Det. April Bird.
Bird died three days after suffering a medical incident while investigating a recent shooting in the the city on Aug. 3.
Bird was much beloved by her fellow officers and those in the community and was known for her infectious smile.
Chief David Kelso issued the following statement about Bird’s passing to local media outlets:
“It is with the heaviest of hearts, I am announcing the untimely passing of Detective April Bird. We are in deep mourning over the loss of our Sister in Blue.”
At Monday’s service a large photo of Bird was projected on a screen above the stage at the Paramount while a large cloth banner with three pictures of Bird was on display.
Her empty uniform was also on display next to her casket along with a flower arrangement in the shape of her badge with a black band around her number.
Two officers at a time took turns standing guard at her flag draped casket which sat in front of the stage.
Pastor Tracy Davis took the stage and sang “His Eye is on the Sparrow,” a rousing hymn before stepping up to the podium to speak lovingly of her late parishioner.
Davis, who spoke at the funeral at the request of Bird’s son Jeffrey, is the pastor of New Life Body of Christ Ministries International in Newark.
“We’ve lost April, but I’m here to tell you I didn’t lose her; I know where she is,” Davis said.
Davis also said she wanted to clear up the events of Bird’s death saying after she was taken to the hospital on Sat., Aug. 3 she was “off the clock, she didn’t suffer.”
The pastor then said Bird rose from the dead three days later when on Mon., Aug. 5 she died and went to heaven.
“On Aug., 5 she made her transition to God,” Davis said.
Davis then gave Bird’s life a title.
“Her title, her life was a Badge of Honor,” she said.
Using that theme throughout the eulogy David said Bird, as a police officer could always “find the truth for people.”
At one point she spoke directly to Jeffrey about the pain he was feeling, telling him he is blessed and when the funeral is over “God will bring people into your life who are honorable.”