Summerville Police opened a path on town streets to lead a long procession from James A. Dyal Funeral Home.
A short journey brought them to Bethany United Methodist Church on Tuesday morning. An extended law enforcement family saluted officer Ryan MacCluen as a hearse carried his body to a sanctuary of prayer and peace.
As bagpipes played near the steps of the church, police officers, sheriff’s deputies, and detectives embraced each other with hugs and handshakes.
“It’s a passion of mine. I feel it’s important that we go pay our respects to our police officers when they’re killed in the line of duty or lose their life in a tragic accident,” said Lt. Richard Keys, commander of the North Charleston Police Department’s Honor Guard.
He explained how Officer MacCluen was recently promoted to the SWAT Unit. The veteran lawman remembers a recent trip with him as they paid tribute to a fallen officer.
“I would’ve never dreamed in a million years that 28 days later that I would be, you know we’d be here today doing this for him,” he recalled while holding back tears.
During the funeral, North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess said MacCluen was a good man not because he was a cop. But because he was a man of God.
“We just wanted to be here to support them leaving,” said Ashley Sadler.
As the wife of a North Charleston Police officer, Sadler stood with her father along South Main Street. They showed respect for the men and women in blue as they traveled to Parks Cemetery.
“It’s amazing to see so much support across the state,” she said. “My husband had the opportunity to escort his family. They are amazing people from what he said. We’re all deeply saddened by their loss.”
North Charleston Police Chief Reggie Burgess promoted Ryan MacCluen posthumously. He was bumped up to the traffic unit. Burgess explained it was one of his goals as he began what he hoped would be a long career with the police department.