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Funeral services begin for fallen veteran state police sergeant

Sgt. Brian Mohl was 50-years-old and a 26-year veteran of the Connecticut State Police

HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s law enforcement community came together Wednesday to collectively grieve for the life and death of veteran State Police Sgt. Brian Mohl.

A wake was held at Hartford’s Xfinity Theater and was attended by hundreds if not thousands of brothers and sisters in blue. The constant stream of people paying their respects began at about noon when the public was let in. Prior to that, the family had some private time.

Mohl was 50 years old and a 26-year veteran of the Connecticut State Police. He died last week after his vehicle was swept away by the Ida floodwaters in Woodbury.

RELATED: "Brian’s love for his family was larger than life" | Family issues statement following the loss of Sgt. Brian Mohl

The roar of a motorcycle contingent escorted Sgt. Mohl's body for what begins two days of final services.

"Brian had two brothers in law enforcement," Col. Stavros Mellekas of the Connecticut State Police told FOX61. "One was a major in the New York State Police and another who was a Sargent with the New York State Police so I’m sure there will be a strong showing from the New York State Police. Fire departments will come. Emergency medical personnel will come."

RELATED: Here are the funeral arrangements for fallen CT police trooper killed in Ida's floodwaters

And they did come.

They came from New York, New Hampshire, and in vehicles like the Wheels of Honor Car, which commemorates line of duty deaths - Mohl’s name is the newest unfortunate addition to the vehicle.

Officer Mark Voeltz of the Fishkill, NY Police Department purchased the vehicle with donation money.

"We take it to the funerals of the police officers or the wakes," he told FOX61 News. "Anything to recognize these police officers and after six months their name doesn’t go away. It stays on the vehicle so people remember it."

RELATED: 'This is family' | Hundreds of motorcyclists ride for miles in honor of late Plainville police officer

Memorial or not — the people FOX61 talked with won’t have any trouble remembering the fallen hero.

"Brian was loving, caring, funny. The last time we saw him was at a 4th of July event. We had a picnic together and he was jovial and laughing and it was good to see everybody," said Maximilian Torres, a close friend.

His wife, Bianca added: "He was just always happy and very heartwarming and just had a soft tone to him and his personality outshined all of us."

As a state police sergeant, Mohl was smart. He was promoted early in his career. He was also funny and well-liked by all, people told FOX61.

"You feel for the family. The loss that they have," said Mellekas.

As a person, Brian was a family man. He loved his wife and three kids and never missed a soccer game.

"It was good that the last time we did see him we were laughing together," said Torres.

The Connecticut State Police Union shared information for the public to donate to help Mohl's family.

If interested, you can do so via Venmo “@CSP-Union” or a check can be sent to the Connecticut State Police Union, with a notation stating “Sgt. Brian Mohl.” Donations can be mailed to SGT. Brian Mohl Fund, c/o CSPU, 500 Main Street, East Hartford, CT 06118.

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Archbishop the Rev. Leonard Blair of the Archdiocese of Hartford attended Wednesday's services.

"As the scripture says there’s no greater love than someone who lays down their life for their friends," he said.

Mohl's legacy will live on through the hearts and minds of all whom he touched.

"Obviously we have the greatest admiration for people who are in service - public service," said Blair.

More people are expected Thursday for Mohl's funeral service at 11 AM at the Xfinity Theater.

Matt Caron is a reporter at FOX61 News. He can be reached at mcaron@fox61.com. Follow him on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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