The Blount County community turned out Wednesday morning to say goodbye to a fallen hero.

Hundreds lined the streets to watch the funeral procession for fallen Maryville police officer Kenny Moats, who was killed in the line of duty last week.

Kenny Moats, 32, of Maryville died Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016, while answering a domestic violence call.

The procession was led by dozens of officers on motorcycles. The hearse carrying Moats' body was followed by a long line of police cars from several area departments. It took around 30 minutes in some places for the procession to pass.

Video: Watch the funeral procession

Many people held their hands over their hearts and saluted as the hearse carrying Moats went by.

“[It's] heartbreaking to be honest with you but really proud of this city, they way they handled this, people in this town, just amazing,” said Frank Doherty, from Maryville.

For many, the procession brought closure, but for some, the tragic death of Officer Moats is still a shock.

"It’s really hard to grasp that it’s really him, like it’s obviously true that it happened but it’s still hard to just accept the fact that he’s the one that this happened to," said Jennifer Long, a childhood friend of Moats.

The faint sound and sight of the motorcycles and squad cars leading the procession brought tears to many people's eyes.

“I saw a lot of friends and sons of friends, and brothers of friends and as the procession went by I just thought they go out everyday and like, after something like this, they still have to go out everyday and how do you continue to do that?" Lisa Atkinson said.

Jessica Self brought her daughters Ireland and Avonlea to the procession. It's something she needed them to see.

"Well we've got a very good friend who is a Knoxville police officer so they pray for him every night, so they know and we just tell them that the family needs them," she said.

While her daughters may not understand everything that led up to this point, they know that a family just like theirs is hurting.

"There's children their age that just lost a father, and it's very important they let the children know that other kids are here for them," Self said.

Family was on the mind of many that attended.

"Blount County, we're all a family, and when something like this happens, it affects the whole family," said Angela Ridnour.

The procession started at Smith Mortuary at 10:15 a.m.

It circled the Maryville Municipal building before traveling to the cemetery. The public began lining the streets at 9 a.m. at Smith Mortuary. The family requested a private burial.

Mobile Users: Click here to view the map of the public procession

A private graveside service was held at 11 a.m. Wednesday at Keeble Chapel on Cold Springs Road. The service was open only to members of the family and officers from Maryville Police Department, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, and Alcoa Police Department.

The family requests that any flowers or arrangements be delivered to Smith's or to Sevier Heights Baptist Church.

Memorial donations for the family of Officer Moats are being accepted through the Kenny Moats Memorial Fund at CBBC Bank and can be brought to any CBBC Bank branch as well as the City of Maryville Municipal Building. Donations may also be mailed to CBBC Bank – Kenny Moats Memorial Fund – P.O. Box 9730, Maryville, TN 37802.

Original Story on Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2016: As Maryville prepared for the funeral of Officer Kenny Moats, many came to the growing memorial at the police station to honor his memory.

There, they found his cruiser, and a collection of flags, balloons and messages.

“Yeah it’s really sad,” said Savannah York. “He was a great person, from what I hear from everybody.”

That was a message from many – even voiced by unexpected people.

“He actually pulled myself me over for speeding,” said York.

But she said Moats created a positive experience.

“He was real nice and didn’t give me a ticket,” she said. “Was real nice and told me to slow down”

She is not alone in looking for bright memories in a week of sadness.

“I don’t think you can explain tragedy,” said Blount Co. Sheriff’s Office chaplain Brad Bryant. “I don’t think you can explain senseless acts and make sense of them. That’s where I believe we have to have hope, and that hope comes from Jesus Christ.”

Bryant will be one of the first to speak at Moats funeral, which is slated for 7 p.m. Tuesday at Sevier Heights Baptist Church.

Bryant said he hopes to reach people in the audience – officers, friends, family – and lift them up.

“This isn’t the end,” he said. “There’s always more life we have to live.”

In an afternoon procession, law enforcement from across the region escorted Moats to the church, rolling over the same streets he patrolled.

Thinking of that, York wanted to share her memory of him, however brief.

“He cared about people and wanted to get the truth out of people before judging them,” she said. “He was a great officer to all of them.”

The city of Maryville Police Department released the following statement on the funeral arrangements:

In accordance with the wishes of the family of Officer Kenny Moats, city of Maryville Chief of Police, Tony Crisp, announced the arrangements for the fallen officer who was shot and killed Thursday, August 25 while on duty.

Moats will be honored with a full police funeral ceremony.

The receiving of friends will be held from 4 – 7 p.m., Tuesday, August 30 at Sevier Heights Baptist Church located at 3232 Alcoa Highway, Knoxville. The funeral service will begin at 7 p.m. following the visitation.

On Wednesday, August 31, a procession beginning at Smith Mortuary will depart at 10:15 a.m. and circle the Maryville Municipal Building before traveling to the cemetery. The public is invited and will be able to start lining up at 9:00 a.m. at Smiths Mortuary. The public procession will end at Melrose Station Road.

A private graveside service will be on Wednesday, August 31 at 11:00 a.m. at Keeble Chapel on Cold Springs Road. The service will be open only to members of the family and officers from Maryville Police, Blount County Sheriff’s Office, and Alcoa Police.

Gaging from the outpouring of support and requests from all over the country, Chief Crisp anticipates the attendance of hundreds of fellow officers from around the country, community members, friends and family.
The family requests that any flowers or arrangements be delivered to Smiths or to Sevier Heights Baptist Church.

Memorial donations for the family of Officer Moats are being accepted through the Kenny Moats Memorial Fund at CBBC Bank and can be brought to any CBBC Bank branch as well as the City of Maryville Municipal Building. Donations may also be mailed to CBBC Bank – Kenny Moats Memorial Fund – P.O. Box 9730, Maryville, TN 37802.

Tuesday, August 30
Receiving Friends from 4 – 7 p.m.
Funeral Service at 7 p.m.
Sevier Heights Baptist Church - located at 3232 Alcoa Highway, Knoxville

Wednesday, August 31
Procession begins at 10:15 a.m.
Begins at Smith Mortuary - located at 1402 Tuckaleechee Pike, Maryville
Circles the Maryville Municipal Center - located at 400 West Broadway Avenue, Maryville
Ends at Melrose Station Road.