HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Mothers United Against Violence held a vigil Wednesday night to remember Officer Robert “Bobby” Garten, who was killed in the line of duty last week.
Garten, 34, an eight-year veteran of the Hartford Police Department, 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. Kearney suffered serious injuries and was released from the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.
“We just wanted to come out and let his family know, and him know, and the police department know, that we are here to support them in these difficult times,” Rev. Henry Brown, with Mothers United Against Violence.
The Hartford Police Department posthumously promoted Garten from an officer to a detective.
Wednesday, a cruiser placed outside the police department was covered in tributes.
“My office is right above the car, and every day, I see an outpouring of support — from the fire department, to the Hartford Police Department, from our community — and it is truly inspirational to see how our community is holding us up in our time of need,” Hartford Police Chief Jason Thody said.
Participants held candles while telling stories about Garten. That included memories of him as a child coming with his father to workon the force.
“[His father] was a living legend, and generally regarded as the finest detective of his era, and so his son, coming onboard, hear great things were expected of him, and I can say he did not disappoint,” said Gerardo Pleasent, a retired lieutenant with the department.
Garten’s family has established the Detective Robert “Bobby” Garten Memorial Fund to continue his legacy of compassion and generosity.
“The Garten Family is touched by all of the support from our community. Please consider donating to the Detective Robert “Bobby” Garten Memorial Fund to keep Bobby’s legacy going. We look forward to sharing more about who Bobby was in the coming days.”
Checks may be made to the Detective Robert “Bobby” Garten Memorial Fund and sent to 120 Willow St., Wethersfield, CT 06109. The family has also established a PayPal donation link.
The wake for Garten will be held from 2 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday at Dunkin Park in Hartford. A celebration of life is scheduled for 10 a.m. Saturday at the XL Center. His burial will not be open to the public.