DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. - DeKalb County police officers are struggling with the loss of a fellow officer killed in a crash.
DeKalb Police Officer Ivorie Klusmann, 31, died after he lost control of his squad car and slammed into a nearby tree on DeKalb Medical Parkway. The crash happened shortly after he tried to pursue a driver accused of fleeing a traffic stop Saturday just before 3 a.m.
The driver in that pursuit, Gregory Lee Harvey Jr., made his first appearance in DeKalb County Court Monday afternoon. The 27-year-old has been charged with felony murder, along with a long list of other charges, in connection with Klusmann's death.
"It's just something you don't get used to," said DeKalb County Police Chief Cedric Alexander. "There's nothing more hurtful than the loss of a police officer, and particularly one of the police officers in your own agency."
Alexander said his officers are still in pain.
"They're certainly very sad, but they also too understand their royal mission is to get back out here to keep this community safe, and they're doing that," said Alexander.
Alexander told Channel 2's Ryan Young Harvey's lengthy record is a troubling part of the situation.
"It's unfortunate that he was out, but that's the judicial system, and we have to respect that's the way it works; it's frustrating to see those arrested and then let out," Alexander said.
DeKalb Master Officer Dana Reese was assigned to work the morning watch with Klusmann.
The pair also went to breakfast every morning.
"It's going to be different not having him on the watch. It's hard. It's a dangerous job. Every day we're putting our lives on the line," she cried.
Reese said his death is surreal.
"I just saw him. I just talked to him. So, I don't believe it. Maybe it's the wrong person. Not him," Reese said.
She said she'll never forget the love Klussman, her beloved friend and colleague she called Rookie had for the job.
Officers called the father of two a hard worker who was eager to serve on the force and help his community.