Mourners by the dozens filled Eagle Brook Church and scores more lined streets in Anoka on Wednesday to pay their respects to a city police officer who died unexpectedly last week.
A line of police cars and fire department vehicles led a "Final Patrol" procession from the church along Anoka's Main Street to Veterans Memorial Park following services for Eric Groebner.
"If you ever met Officer Groebner you would immediately know you had a lifelong friend," the Anoka Police Department said in a Facebook post announcing his death last week.
Groebner, who wore badge No. 29, worked for Anoka police for nine years and died Sept. 14 while at home, the police department said. The cause of death has not been released.
"There is a hole in our hearts, but we know that we are better for knowing him, better for loving him, better for having met him," the department's posting read. "May we all strive to be the police officer like Officer Groebner. A fair, kind, thoughtful and caring man."
Groebner, 39, leaves behind a wife and two children.
He exemplified "all the attributes our society needs in a public servant," an online fundraiser organized by family friends said. "He was unwavering in his morals and ethics and treated all those he had contact with true empathy and professionalism regardless of who he was interacting with."