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Calling hours begin for fallen Buffalo Police diver

Buffalo Police Department
Officer Craig Lehner

Calling hours begin Monday for Officer Craig Lehner at Lakeside Memorial Funeral Home in Hamburg.

Lehner, 34, died during a training exercise with the Buffalo Police Underwater Recovery Team in the Niagara River. When he failed to surface, more than a dozen agencies began a search, using divers, boats and aircraft. Lehner's body surfaced on the fifth day.

Police say it will take a long time before they know the circumstances surrounding his death. Also assisting in the early stages of the investigation is a division of the New York State Labor Department's Public Employee Safety and Health office, which by law gets involved with any death involving a public employee.

The event has rallied many around Western New York in support of his surviving family and law enforcement. Public buildings have been flying flags at half-staff and displaying the color blue. The students of Makowski School #99 on Jefferson Avenue in Buffalo will be sharing sympathy cards with officers and the Lehner family Monday beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Calling hours at Lakeside Memorial are Monday and Tuesday from 3-8 p.m. A funeral service for Lehner will take place Wednesday at 10 a.m. at KeyBank Center, where thousands are expected to attend.