City of Odessa says good-bye to Cpl. Arlie Jones and Cpl. Scott Gardner

by Michael Stafford
NewsWest 9

A tragic act by a gunman turned this community from terror, then to grief, but now joy, as family and friends assured one another that Arlie is now in a much better place.

Pastor Griffin Jones of Temple Baptist promised onlookers that God has certainly prepared a place in Heaven for him.

Fellow officers from across the state even Oklahoma City arrived in the basin to show just how much one officer's life means to them. The sacrifice and dedication Arlie showed won't soon be forgotten.

The phone calls and e-mails are continuing to pour in from everywhere.

"We've had e-mails from as far away as Scotland Yard in England.  I couldn't have imagined it would be the magnitude of what we've seen today,"  says Odessa Police Chief Chris Pipes.

Lt. J.D. Echols adds "A great deal of support from across the state and from some other states, and it's just overwhelming how much support we've gotten."

During an honorary flag ceremony, Odessa Police officers folded our stars and stripes so that only the blue and white showed.  The missing red signifies an officer shed his blood in the line of duty.   

The Ector County Sheriff's Office followed with the prestigious 21 gun salute, and the playing of Taps.

The Department of Public Safety honored Arlie with the traditional missing man formation fly over.

Widow Rhonda Jones tells Newswest 9,  "It makes me proud to know I had a husband that was loved this much. I've had numerous people tell me that if it was not for my husband, they would'nt have met the Lord.  He just had that talent that he wanted to help everybody. He loved his family.  He wore his uniform proudly. He died the way he would've wanted to die, and I thank God that at least he didn't suffer."