Honorary officer remembered as hero

Raleigh police bid farewell to a friend and fellow officer Saturday afternoon. William Bunn, 8, was buried with full police honors, including a flyover by a police helicopter.

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

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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