ALGONA, Iowa — Hundreds of people gathered at the Law Enforcement Center in Algona Sunday to honor the life of Ofc. Kevin Cram.
The beloved Algona police officer was tragically shot and killed on Wednesday. But while the community may be grieving, residents say no one is left to carry these burdens alone.
"I've always known that Algona was a special place and the matter in which our community has come together in the past few days truly reflects that," said Algona Mayor Rick Murphy.
At the vigil, community members remembered who Cram was beyond the uniform; as a person, dad and community member.
“After this, just to know that the community of Algona is there for everyone, and he was a great father, son, brother, grandson..." said Becky Zittritsch, a community member who helped plan the vigil. "..[It's] a traumatic loss when you just lose anyone in your family."
People traveled from near and far to show their support, remembering Cram as a "homegrown hero".
"He truly cared about his community and the people he served," said Algona Mayor Rick Murphy.
The night showcased the true power of community - something Algona will never forget.
“It’s amazing," Zittritsch said. "I didn’t realize when about four of us got together to do this, we did not expect this great turnout. It’s amazing when the community comes together and it’s great when we can come together to support each other.”
The vigil is just one example of community support Algona has witnessed since Cram's death. Many residents have paid their respects to Cram by placing flowers and notes on a department car outside of the Algona Police Station.
Local businesses are also doing their part to honor Cram's legacy. The local barbershop Men's Grooming Lounge made a Facebook post last week offering free haircuts to law enforcement ahead of Cram's funeral.
Owner Sarah Decker says more than a dozen police officers took her up on the offer. Decker also said that although the community is in mourning, offering the free haircuts was a way to smile through the tears.
"As unfortunate as it has been the reason I'm in here today, it's been a good day putting smiles on their faces and helping them relax a little bit," Decker said.
Cram's funeral will be held Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in the Ed and Betty Wilcox Performing Arts Center at the Algona Community School. For more information, click here.