POOLER, Ga. (WTOC) - WTOC is committed to honoring fallen Savannah police officer, Sgt. Kelvin Ansari, as the city and state come together to remember the hero at his funeral on Saturday.
We will be live on our digital platforms as well as television throughout the morning and afternoon as he is laid to rest.
The Pooler Police Department will be helping the Savannah Police Department with Saturday’s service. They say this hits very close to home.
Corporal Chris Dotson says a lot of the officers at Pooler Police Department came from the Savannah Police Department. Some of the officers even worked along side Sgt. Ansari. He says the community is very close and the departments work close together. When something happens like this, it really is a tragedy. Dotson says about half of the department will be helping with traffic control Saturday for the funeral. Other officers will be going to pay their respects. In honor of Sgt. Ansari.
“It’s definitely a tragedy across all law enforcement. You know, we all put on the badge and we all understand the consequences of what may happen when we come to work every day, but when it happens, it’s definitely a tragedy for the families and everyone involved. We definitely want to make sure they are made aware of and taken care of," Cpl. Dotson said.
The flag in front of police headquarters will be flown at half-mast.
Local elementary school students are paying tribute to Sgt. Ansari as well. Pooler Elementary School’s art teacher came up with the idea to have her students paint a piece of art in his memory.
A large painting of Sgt. Ansari now sits outside Pooler Police Department. Art teacher, Elizabeth Harper, came up with the idea. It quickly spread, and more classes joined in. Music teacher, McKenzie Gallant, says it gave the kids an opportunity to pay their respects.
“It really gave them a chance to do something memorable and honorable for someone in our community that did so much and gave his life for our community,” Gallant said.
The students worked on the project for a few days, piecing it together bit by bit and painting the project that now sits outside police headquarters.
“It was really important to our school and it was important to the officer, and I think doing it was...it really took a toll on all of us,” said student, Laura Sims.
Teachers say the tragedy gave the students an understanding of just how brave our men in uniform are.
“It helps them learn a lot about citizenship and caring about our community, which sometimes they just don’t get in school with all the standardized testing and all the things they have to learn,” Gallant said.
Harper says she has known the Ansari family since she met two of the sons at school.
“They were wonderful boys, and they were such super, involved parents,” she said.
She sent the pictures to one of the sons.
“He put something on Facebook about how it touched him and how he really felt like it was just nice he got to see something from his art teacher from high school got to do for him,” Gallant said.
Friday is the last day of school for students at Pooler Elementary School, and teachers tell WTOC this was the perfect last project for the students.