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Officer Bobby Garten remembered as 'motivated and positive' by friends and former co-workers

The community support continued to pour in on Friday as more people left flowers outside of the Hartford Police Department.

HARTFORD, Conn. — Community support continued to pour in for the Hartford Police Department after 34-year-old Officer Bobby Garten was killed Wednesday night. 

Those who knew him shared memories and shed light on who he was as a person and an officer. 

The police cruiser outside of the police department was slowly getting covered up by flowers, balloons, candles and some of Garten's favorite items. 

"This is going to affect the victim’s family as well as the person that did the crime," said Monica Barns of Hartford. 

Comfort dogs from multiple agencies banded together to provide emotional support. 

Garten's life was taken away when Richard Barrington, 18, of Hartford sped off from a traffic spot, ran two red lights and crashed into the police cruiser by Broad Street and Asylum Avenue. 

A former Hartford Police detective then received the bad news. 

"I had somebody call me in the middle of the night that is an officer here and he was really upset and let me know what was going on and I was up for the rest of the night," said Sabine Nyehuis, a retired detective of Hartford Police Department. 

Garten's success started at an early age. In 2014, he was selected out of a large pool of candidates to be a public safety officer at the University of Hartford. 

For the one year Garten was there, Chief Michael Kaselouskas worked closely with him. 

"From the very beginning, we didn’t have to give him much training. Usually your developing officers over the years, 10, 20 years in, they’re getting to where they need to be, but Bobby was there from day one," said Chief Michael Kaselouskas with the University of Hartford Public Safety. 

Eventually, the Hartford Police Department scooped up Garten as their new officer in 2015. 

Aside from his daily duties, Garten also stood guard at The Russian Lady where he kept crowds under control and protected the employees. 

Sarah Clauson, a former bartender there said she remembered him all too well. 

"He always had a smile on his face. There was probably never a time where I saw him and he wasn’t smiling and keeping everybody in good spirits and in a good mood. He was definitely a goofball," said Clauson. 

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Garten's presence touched the hearts of his loved ones and strangers. 

"Sorry this happened but thank you. Thank you for what you’ve done here in the eight years," added Nyehuis.

Hartford Police said the exact extent of Officer Kearney's injuries has not yet been released. 

Carmen Chau is an anchor and reporter at FOX61 News. She can be reached at cchau@fox61.com. Follow her on Facebook and X.


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