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Odessa honors native son, slain Police Officer Cody Allen

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Posted at 9:07 PM, Mar 07, 2024

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Officer Cody Allen’s death shocked and saddened his friends, loved ones and even strangers in his hometown of Odessa, Missouri.

It’s been a week since his death, and the small town east of the metro area quickly pulled together for support.

Crafty Momma in Odessa is selling t-shirts and car decals in honor of Officer Allen.

The business will donate 100% of the proceeds from the sale of t-shirts and car decals to Allen's family.

Other local businesses, including The Coffee House, TCA Outdoors and Rumors Bar and Grill, collaborated to collect donations.

“It’s a horrible thing, but if we can help the family as much as we can, it’s what we want to do,” said Daniel Robison, Rumors owner.

Robison is new to Odessa, but his friend, Austin, is not.

“Everyone here really watches out for one another and that’s what I really like,” said Austin Beauchamp, an Odessa resident.

The one time Beauchamp met Officer Allen was unforgettable.

“He actually, in a sense, saved my life once,” Beauchamp said. “I was going through a real rough time years ago, and he just sat down and talked to me.”

Beauchamp came to the vigil held last Sunday and plans to go to Friday's procession.

Tracey Brisbin, the vigil’s organizer, also will be at Friday's procession.

“I’ve never seen a more loving community, and everyone will be here, I guarantee it,” Brisbin said.

Brisbin has only lived in Odessa for a few years, but she says the community is unlike anything she’s ever seen.

“I adore the community,” Brisbin said. “I’ve never felt more at home anywhere else.”

Being at home is something Monte Neal has done a lot more since he retired.

It’s also how KSHB 41 came across the flag in his driveway.

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Neal put this flag up a day after he heard about Officer Cody Allen's death.

“To put this flag up is just to give a little piece of ‘thank you’ to the officers that are still out there, still trying to do the job,” Neal said.

He put up the flag the day after he heard about Officer Allen's death, because it reminded him of his time in law enforcement.

“As a police officer, when you go through that hurt of another officer, regardless of where they’re from, it could have been you,” Neal said.

He lives on the corner of a street along Friday’s procession route.

“You don’t get to see this everyday, and hopefully we don’t have to see this in the future,” Neal said.

He honors officers both inside and outside his home. Inside, the walls are lined with photos from his time in the military.

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Monte Neal shows photos from when he was in the service, as well as his father and late brother.

“There is a real sacrifice that must be inherently done,” Neal said. “The guys that fly under that flag, they understand that day may never come, on any given day, and that’s what’s so important.”

It’s a reality officers everywhere face.

“We all put on a uniform knowing that there may be a day that comes where we don’t go home to our family,” said Sergeant Bill Talley, the Honor Guard Commander for the Cass County Sheriff’s Office.

Talley and his team spent Wednesday at the Odessa Cemetery rehearsing for tomorrow's services.

“There’s a lot that goes into it that people don’t see behind the scenes, you know, and we prefer it that way,” Talley said. “We want them to see the overall big picture.”

Talley is a member of the Missouri Law Enforcement Funeral Assistance Team and has worked several times with the Independence Police Department.

“They’re one of the honor guards that we rely on heavily because they’re well trained, and we can rely on them,” Talley said. “This one’s a little different than other ones because of that relationship, so this one’s gonna be hard.”

But even with that challenge, precision is still key for the team.

“We want to make sure that hero gets the best sendoff that we can give them,” Talley said.

In Officer Allen’s case, this sendoff is also a homecoming to a town with open arms.

“We hurt as a whole, we feel as a whole, but we’ll get through as a whole,” Neal said.