Hundreds of law enforcement officials, civilians and spectators lined several blocks of Delaware Avenue this morning to say a final goodbye to Buffalo Police Officer Patricia A. Parete.
An Erie County Sheriff’s helicopter flew overhead as the hearse carrying her body made its way to Trinity Episcopal Church at 271 Delaware Ave.
A huge American flag unfurled by Buffalo firefighters waved the funeral procession by.
Hundreds of people filled the church to standing-room capacity.
“We’re here to give thanks for Patty’s life and to thank God for giving us Patty,” said Rev. R. Cameron Miller, Trinity’s pastor, who presided over the service.
Parete had been a police officer since January 2001 when her life changed in an instant in December 2006. She and her partner, Charles E. Andolina, responded to a fight call at West Chippewa Street and Whitney Place. A struggle ensued, and Parete was shot twice. Her spine was severely damaged by the second bullet, and she was left paralyzed from the neck down.
A long, difficult battle to regain her health followed, and recently she was under hospice care. Parete died early Saturday morning in her Niagara County home.
Buffalo Mayor Byron W. Brown spoke during Monday’s funeral service.
“You are surrounded by people who care,” Brown said to Parete’s family in his remarks.
Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard and Buffalo Police Commissioner Daniel Derenda also attended the funeral.