Before his funeral services and burial, Det. Sgt. Jason Young had one last, solemn visit to the office.
The funeral procession for Young, a 24-year member of the Independence Police Department who was killed last in an off-duty collision in Gladstone, stopped for several minutes in front of police headquarters on Memorial Drive. After Young's family had a chance to step out of their vehicles and take in the scene, the procession departed underneath a giant United States flag, held aloft by two Fire Department ladder trucks, then passed under another canopy of Power & Light aerial buckets on Truman Road, with dozens of police cars falling in line behind.
At Van Horn High School, where two years ago students lined the street to help welcome home injured Officer Tom Wagstaff, they stood to pay tribute to Young.
The procession continued along Interstate 435 to Vineyard Church just off U.S. 169 for final services. A veteran of the U.S. Coast Guard, Young received full military and police honors.
Young, 48, died Jan. 2 from in a three-vehicle crash in Gladstone. A pickup truck driver, for unknown reasons, crossed the centerline, hit Young's car head-on. That driver also died.
During his tenure with IPD, Young served in patrol, criminal investigations, special response, the Jackson County Drug Task Force and perhaps most notably with the special victims unit, where he helped save numerous human and sex-trafficking victims. As a state certified specialist instructor, he taught many officers and professionals in human trafficking, sex crimes and cyber-based investigations.
In a Facebook post, the KC Alliance Against Human Trafficking said Young was among the first in the community to focus on human trafficking was helped develop the Human Trafficking Rescue Project for the Western District of Missouri.
“Sgt. Young was an advocate for victims and worked constantly to combat human trafficking,” Independence Fraternal Order of Police posted on social media. “As a true leader, Sgt. Young's motto was 'Lead from the front.' We are saddened and heartbroken, but grateful to have known such a man.”
From his Coast Guard service, Young used his combat medic knowledge to create IPD's tactical medical program.
Except for the newest hires, spokesperson Jodi Grooms said, nearly all the officers have gone taken the eight-hour training, which provides some basic triage skills that can be used before medical first responders arrive at a scene.
Grooms herself used that training to help a shooting victim at a fast-food restaurant last summer, and she said another officer recently helped save a child after a lawnmower accident by applying a tourniquet.
Young's family requested that donations in lieu of flowers go to the Truman Heartland Community Foundation in Young's memory, where police said they will help fund supplies for tactical medical kits in the department.
Away from his job, Young played guitar in a local ’80s music tribute band, Retroactive. The day after Young's death, the band posted on social media:
“Jason was a soldier, a detective, a loving father, an amazing guitarist, and one of the best humans you could ever meet. Our band family is devastated, and our hearts and prayers go out to his great kids, father and the rest of his family.”