Honorary officer remembered as hero

Posted July 3, 2010

— Raleigh police bid farewell Saturday to a friend and fellow officer. William Bunn, 8, died of a cancer called neuroblastoma Thursday.

Honorary officer laid to rest Honorary officer laid to rest

On June 11, the Raleigh Police Department made him the city's first honorary officer, fulfilling his dream. Bunn was buried with full police honors, including a flyover by a police helicopter.

Bunn always wanted to be a police officer. He liked the cool cap, the crisp uniform, but most of all, he loved the job description.

Officer Graham Witherspoon remembered meeting Bunn last April. The two struck up a friendship when Witherspoon visited the boy's school.

"I said, 'What do officers do?' He said, 'Simple. Catch the bad guys.'"

"For him to become an officer, for him to enjoy it, was probably the proudest day of my life, in my career," Witherspoon said.

Bunn proudly carried his police badge for the last three weeks of his life. Inside his casket Saturday, he wore his police uniform.

"He was an inspiration," Raleigh Police Chief Harry Dolan said. "He gave us all a lot of hope, but most importantly he touched the life of everybody he met."

"He was strong," Witherspoon said. "He set the standard for what a hero is."

Bunn had recently completed the first grade at Douglas Elementary School, and he enjoyed hunting, fishing, swimming, playing basketball and camping at the lake.

He is survived by his parents, Mark and Amy, and younger sister, Alyssa.


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  • lecato Jul 5, 2010

    I just watched the video of Officer William Bunn, the most handsome 8 year old police office I've ever seen. Thank you to Office Graham Witherspoon and the Raleigh Police Department for making this little boys dream come true. You always hear the bad stories about police very seldom the good ones, even though I live in Michigan I send my thanks you the Raleigh Police Department to all the officers that put their lives on the line to make the community safe and for making Williams dream come true. I couldn't help but cry while watching seeing how all of you honored him. God Bless Williams parents and sister and the Raleigh Police Department, especially Office Witherspoon.

  • itsmyownopinion Jul 5, 2010

    HLN has featured the video to this story several times today, and I still cannot watch it without being reduced to tears. God bless the Bunn family and the Raleigh Police Department. RIP Officer Bunn.

  • viccelis Jul 5, 2010

    I am an officer with the Lakewood Police Department in Lakewood, WA. I wish to extend my condolences to the immediate and law enforcement families of officer Bunn. My thoughts and prayers go out to the family members. Rest in peace Officer Bunn, we will continue the watch here....

  • timbre Jul 5, 2010

    This was a very compassionate and honorable gesture on the part of the Raleigh Police Department. My condolences to the Bunn family and their RPD family, too.

  • micnic98 Jul 5, 2010

    Rest in peace, Officer Bunn.
    Thank you Officer Witherspoon for making this young lad's dreams come true.
    God bless!