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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTIC Radio) - A celebration of life was held for fallen Hartford Police Detective Robert "Bobby" Garten.
Detective Garten was killed in a line-of-duty crash when a teenager slammed into the cruiser while fleeing a traffic stop on the night of Wednesday, September 6, 2023.
His partner, Officer Brian Kearney, was seriously injured and released from Saint Francis Hospital a week after the crash.
Officer Kearney was able to give a eulogy at the public service Saturday morning at the X.L. Center in downtown Hartford.
Before delivering the medal of valor, Hartford's highest police honor, Officer Kearney recalled looked back on the tragic night: "...in our last moments, somewhere between heaven and Earth, I know Bob told me to turn back so I could take care of our family and our teammates...I can hear him saying 'it's okay, Brian, I've got this.'"
"When a need arises, we have a responsibility to meet that need. If we pick the right person, they excel, even if it's not something they asked for or something they wanted...that was Bobby's way," remembers Police Chief Jason Thody.
Other speakers included Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin, family members, and former classmates.
Officer Garten is being laid to rest in Wethersfield during a private ceremony.
He was 34-years-old.