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The Muhlbauer family is grateful for the community’s support after the death of an officer

KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) — The Kansas City, Missouri Police Department is finalizing plans for Officer Jim Mulbauer’s funeral, and his family is sharing his legacy both in and out of uniform.

On Tuesday, Muhlbauer’s siblings and parents visited the growing memorial outside the KCPD headquarters. Visitors left flowers and gifts there in honor of him and his K-9 teammate Champ. Both died last week in a car accident near Truman Road and Benton Boulevard.

Stephen and Lori Muhlbauer, the officer’s siblings, said they were touched by the outpouring of support they witnessed in Kansas City in the days following the incident.

“This is a really special event for us,” Laurie said. “It’s a great honor for us.”

The Muhlbauers are proud of their time as an officer in the KCPD, as well as Jim’s life without a military uniform as a devoted father and member of the community. The family said that he enjoyed hiking and fishing with his family and that he had a personality that seemed to draw others to him. They said he was proud to be a KCPD officer.

“Obviously he made an impact on people and we are proud to hear that,” Steven said.

Muhlbauer’s parents, Chris and Vern, were also encouraged by the community’s response. After the incident, they left their home in Nebraska. They also visited the crossroads where their son was killed.

Jerron Allen Lightfoot was driving nearly 50 mph over the speed limit and ran a red light before crashing into Muhlbauer’s patrol car, according to court documents. The collision also killed 52-year-old Jesse Ackes, who was walking nearby.

“By the time he got past the block, my son was already dead,” said Vern, father of Jim Mulbauer. “That’s how thin life is.”

The family hoped that Muhlbauer’s story would help solidify Jim’s pride in his service as an officer. They also hoped it would serve as a reminder that people’s actions and decisions can have deadly consequences.

“People need to understand that their actions don’t always affect you,” his mother Chris said. “They can affect another person, an entire family, an entire community.”

The Kansas City Police Fraternal Order set up a fund to help raise money for Muhlbauer’s wife and children. The Surviving Spouses and Families Foundation also provides financial assistance.

“He was loved by his family, his wife, his children,” Vern said. “He was loved by so many people that they will miss him greatly.”

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