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Craig Lehner's funeral to be held at KeyBank Center next week

Buffalo Police Department

Thousand of people are expected to attend funeral services in KeyBank Center next week for fallen Buffalo Police Officer Craig Lehner.

The department announced details of the funeral Thursday. Services with full police and military honors will be held Wednesday, Oct. 25 starting at 10 a.m. at the arena. There will then be a funeral procession to Forest Lawn Cemetery.

Lehner, 34, died after failing to surface during a training exercise with the Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Team in the Niagara River last Friday. His body was recovered on Tuesday, five days after he went missing. An investigation into the circumstances that led to his tender cable becoming detached is continuing.

Lehner's beloved K-9 partner Shield will have a "prominent role" in the service.

Buffalo Police Chief Dennis Richards said Craig Lehner was an officer who had a deep passion for his job.

"Craig E. Lehner is an American hero by his service to the city," said Richards about the Army National Guard member and nine-year veteran of the force.

"He always wanted to be where the action was, in all of his assignments."

Donations to Lehner's family can be made through the Police Benevolent Association. Richards said the family is thankful for the support it has received throughout the difficult time.

"Craig's family, once again, wishes to express their amazement at the overwhelming support in the form of prayers, condolences and expressions of sympathy by so many, from near and far. They've been lifted by such a tremendous show of support," Richards said in a news briefing at police headquarters.

Calling hours will be held from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. Monday and Tuesday at the Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg. The public is welcome to attend both visiting hours and the funeral.

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