Iowa law enforcement gathered in Ames to say good-bye to one of their own. He wasn’t killed in the line of duty, but Sgt. Howard Snider died trying to save someone.
A police escort brought the 51-year-old from the funeral home to the church. Family, friends and Iowa`s patriot guard waited to pay their respects.
“Howard was very patriotic and by having the flags flown at his funeral is quite a tribute for him,” says Ames Police Commander Jim Robinson.
Snider was a 23 year veteran of the department and a veteran of the US Marine Corps. Last Sunday, he drowned trying to swim to his daughter on the lake at Geode State Park. She was on a fishing boat that had drifted away from the dock.
“Sgt. Snider was always there, always ready, and it's no surprise that he jumped in to retrieve the boat, retrieve his daughter. That's who he was,” says Ames Chief Charles Cychosz.
Cychosz says he always tries to find the good in any situation, but “sometimes it's a search.” His sudden and unexpected death is something the department hasn`t experienced before.
“Howard is the first active duty officer that we have lost, at least that I've seen in the last 33 years,” says Robinson.
Robinson says Snider's wife and kids have the law enforcement family to lean on and fall back on.
“They're in our thoughts and prayers,” he says.
“He'll always be in our hearts,” says Cychosz.
Their friend and fellow officer who lived and died protecting others. Following this afternoon's funeral service at Cornerstone Church, the family held a private burial service for Snider.