HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — Family, friends, community members and fellow members of law enforcement paid their respects Friday to Hartford Police Detective Robert “Bobby” Garten, who died Sept. 6 in the line of duty.

The 34-year-old was responding to a call with Officer Brian Kearney when a driver fleeing a traffic stop ran a red light and hit their cruiser, according to police. The Hartford Police Department posthumously promoted Garten from officer to detective.

Garten’s wake was held Friday at Dunkin’ Park in Hartford.

“He’ll be greatly missed… greatly missed,” Hartford Police Lt. Aaron Boisvert said. “You have a department now that is grieving. A community that is grieving. It’s very overwhelming. You can see there are departments from everywhere: out of state, instate, citizens showing up. It really is a great show of support.”

  • A procession escorts the body of fallen Detective Robert "Bobby" Garten to Dunkin' Park in Hartford on Sept. 15, 2023.
  • Hartford police Officer Brian Kearney is escorted in the procession to the wake for Detective Robert "Bobby" Garten in Hartford on Sept. 15, 2023.

Near the front of the procession was Kearney, holding an American flag close to his chest.

Departments from across Connecticut and the region gathered in the Capital City to pay their respects. Members of the Hinsdale Police Department in Hinsdale, Mass., where Kearney got his start, were among those who showed their support.

“Hearing about any officer killed in the line of duty is horrible, and we’re all wishing Brian a fast recovery,” Hinsdale Police Sgt. Elizabeth Zipp said. “His parents still live in town, and they have been updating us on Brian’s condition over the last week.”

“We felt it was very important for us to come out, show our support for Hartford,” Torrington’s Deputy Chief Bart Barown said.

At nearby Capital Preparatory Magnet School, posters hung up on the school’s fence.

“Each of the classrooms made little posters that had different sayings on the posters,” Lady Carrie McCrorey said. “They’re hanging out in front of the school. That’s their way of showing condolences.”

A Celebration of Life | Saturday

Garten is being remembered for his caring nature, a smile that could light up the room and love for his family and city, which he proudly served for eight years.

Saturday’s celebration of life at the XL Center in Hartford is expected to start at 10 a.m. followed by a burial. Both are open to the public.

News 8 will carry the celebration of life on air and online at WTNH.com.

Road closures for Saturday are pictured below:

The Connecticut Department of Transportation announced on Thursday that uniformed first responders, military members and their families can ride the CTrail Hartford Line for free on Friday and Saturday in order to attend the services. Those who are not in uniform must show their ID to conductors.

The video below is from News 8 at 6 p.m. on Sept. 14, 2023.