Posted By: Rachael Witter
It was a somber day for Lincoln police as they say a final goodbye to one of their own.
Hundreds of people came to pay tribute to Officer John Clarke Friday morning. His sudden death came as a shock to all who knew him.
"John always had a smile on his face," Chief Jim Peschong said.
Officer John Clarke was a 21-year veteran of the Lincoln Police Department. He died suddenly when he collapsed while off–duty at the gym earlier this week. He was highly regarded at LPD, his colleagues say he went above and beyond to help anyone he could.
"He was always willing to wind up helping someone, all they had to do was ask and sometimes they didn't even ask. John knew when he was needed or when he could wind up helping and he was always quick to wind up helping," Chief Peschong said.
Hundreds gathered today to pay their respects.. Including law enforcement from all over the state..
They wanted to say goodbye to a husband, a father and the head of the k–9 unit of LPD.
"I think this is one way of everyone winding up paying tribute to John as well as bringing closure to everything," Peschong said.
Officer Clarke leaves behind a wife and three children... As well as a police force who looked up to and respected him as a mentor.
The cold and snowy afternoon didn't stop everyone from celebrating his life.
"I think it's really great. Look at the weather, it's not the best weather and when you really think about it, a lot of people came out even in this bad weather to wind up celebrating John's life and pay their respects to him," Peschong said.
One of his colleagues said today's weather was perfect to honor Clarke...they said this is the kind of weather Clarke would be out hunting in.