For Philly police, a grim ritual is perfected

By Melissa Dribben
Philadelphia Inquirer

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PHILADELPHIA — To plan a Philadelphia police officer's funeral is to organize a large and complex military-style campaign, deploying hundreds of troops, coordinating simultaneous movements all over the city, rallying forces on the ground and in the air from a central command post, ensuring the precise timing of each phase of the operation.

"It's very important that it's perfect," says Chief Inspector Joseph Sullivan, who, as commander of the Philadelphia Police Academy, is charged with managing the entire spectacle. "You only get one chance to get it right."

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