Metro-area non-profit plans memorial service for Las Animas deputy killed in crash

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PUEBLO – Colorado is once again preparing to say goodbye to a sheriff’s deputy who was killed in the line of duty. Las Animas County Sgt. Matthew Moreno was killed in a car crash on Dec. 12 while responding to a call for help. A civilian and child were also killed

A metro-area non-profit group made up of law enforcement officers is planning Sgt. Moreno's memorial service.

This is the third funeral the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation has planned this year.

“This one is really exactly what we train for from day one. Even brainstorming about having this team, our goal was to ensure a small-town officer gets the same dignified memorial as a larger agency in Colorado," President Stephen Redfearn said.

Sgt. Moreno’s funeral will take place in Pueblo on Thursday, Dec. 20. His services will be a little different. Sgt. Moreno’s family and friends will participate in a funeral mass at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart, which is scheduled to begin at 10 a.m. At the conclusion of the funeral mass, Sgt. Moreno and his family will be escorted to Pueblo Memorial Hall, where a law enforcement memorial will take place, beginning at approximately 12 p.m. This memorial is open to the public.

There will be no law enforcement vehicle procession. Law enforcement officers will participate in a walking procession between Cathedral of the Sacred Heart and Pueblo Memorial Hall in advance of the law enforcement memorial.

Sgt. Moreno was with the Las Animas County Sheriff’s office when he was killed in a traffic crash while responding to a call for help.

“This is someone who went to work and never came home because he was helping other people. Our goal is to honor that properly," Captain Redfearn said.

Lauren Lekander with the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office is one of 40 law enforcement officers volunteering their time this week.

“It really is all about what the family needs and wants.” she said.

Lekander said the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation helped her agency through the tragic loss of Deputy Zackari Parrish nearly one year ago.

“It is a way to give back. It’s a way to help other agencies and provide help to them like they did when we needed help," she said.

The Fallen Hero Foundation not only brings expertise from planning to logistics to traffic control; they bring resources.

“If we have to pay for family members to fly here, even take family members out shopping to get dress clothes for the funeral, it’s all stuff we are prepared to do.” Captain Redfearn said.

They say it is the least they can do for someone who made the ultimate sacrifice.

Sgt. Moreno leaves behind two daughters and one stepson. If you would like to help his family, or donate to the Colorado Fallen Hero Foundation.

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