URBANA – Family, friends and fellow police officers said farewell to University of Illinois Police lieutenant Aaron Landers Tuesday, at a funeral held at the Vineyard Church in Urbana.
The 50-year-old Landers died August 23rd, from injuries suffered in a five-vehicle traffic crash the day before in Champaign. A driver involved in the accident has been charged with driving while intoxicated.
Among those attending the funeral was U of I Urbana Chancellor Robert Jones, who said Landers’ contributions were felt throughout the campus.
“Truly a very tragic loss, not only to the University Of Illinois Police Department but the entire community,” said Jones. “And just the personal connections that he had were clearly on display today. (I) just wish our condolences to his family, to his wife, to his kids, and his extended family, the entire University of Illinois community. It’s a great loss to us all.”
Landers was the son of a police officer who spent 24 years with the U of I police department. He was acting commander of the East Central Illinois Bomb Squad, serving the territory of State Police District Ten. He also worked with an area police SWAT team. More recently, he was named supervisor of the UIPD’s Community Outreach and Support Team, including its K-9 therapy dog program.
After the funeral, a police procession escorted Landers’ body to the Patterson Cemetery south of St. Joseph for burial.
Landers’ funeral comes just three months after another funeral for an active duty Champaign-Urbana police officers. A funeral was held in Decatur on May 26 for Champaign Officer Chris Oberheim. He was killed in the line of duty on May 19, during a confrontation during a domestic disturbance call. Oberheim was the first Champaign officer to be killed in the line of duty since 1967.