Motorists in Seminole County should expect “major traffic tie-ups” as hundreds pay their last respects for slain police office Robert German.
The Windermere police officer was fatally shot about 4 a.m. Saturday after stopping two teenagers on Conroy Windermere Road. The teens — Brandon Goode, 18, and Alexandria “Alex” Hollinghurst, 17, both of Davenport — were found dead nearby of an apparent murder/suicide according to Orange County deputies who arrived on the scene.
A 5-year law enforcement veteran, German grew up in Sanford and continued to make the Celery City home, said Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith.
In a briefing to the Sanford City Commission, Smith said most of the major roads in Seminole County will be “a complete mess” starting around noon Thursday as some 500 police officers participate in the funeral procession from Northland Church in Longwood to Oaklawn Cemetery in Sanford.
“There are a lot of officers from Central Florida and around the country who want to honor Officer German,” Smith said.
Officials expect the police presence in the procession will include about 300 squad cars and 160 motorcycles, in addition to vehicles driven by family, friends and the general public attending the services. Smith said there are 82 traffic points that will be blocked off for the massive motorcade at different times throughout the day.
Following the funeral, the procession is expected to leave Northland Church about 11:45 a.m. Thursday and head north on Ronald Reagan Boulevard, crossing State Road 434 and continuing to U.S. 17/92.
The procession will be directed north on 17/92 until it reaches Lake Mary Boulevard, where it will head west to Rinehart Road. The motorcade will go north on Rinehart Road until it reaches County Road 46A where Oaklawn Cemetery is located.
“By noon the traffic impact will be major and continue until the early afternoon rush hour,” Smith said.
At least half a dozen local law enforcement agencies will be assisting with traffic control, and Smith stressed regular police functions in Sanford and Seminole County would not be hampered.
“Not only do we have several agencies assisting, most of the guys who will be working traffic detail are off-duty and they do it as a way to honor a fellow officer,” Smith said. “This will not cause us to deviate from our normal operations.”
The wake for officer German is scheduled for Wednesday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Northland Church. Funeral services will take place Thursday at 10 a.m. at Northland, followed by the graveside service at Oaklawn. All services are open to the public.
— By Dan Ping