Charles City Honors Fallen Officer

September 16, 2018 06:58 PM

(ABC 6 News) -- Sunday the Charles City community gathered to honor an officer who died in the line of duty in Florida last month.

"Whenever there's a loss of a law enforcement officer-- we're all brothers and sisters in this career-- and it hurts everybody when one is lost," said Captain of the Charles City Police Department Brandon Franke.


For Captain Franke, this loss hit close to home.

Ben Zirbel, who died in the line of duty in Florida this August, was raised in Charles City.

For Captain Franke, he was a classmate and a friend.

"Ben was a great guy and also a great cop.  He was Charles City born and raised. His dad was the Chief of Police for quite some time. I've known the family for a long time. They were just a great family," said Captain Franke.

Sunday a motorcade of EMS, Fire, Law Enforcement vehicles and American Legion Riders drove through town to honor Ben.

"We do anything for our veterans and fellow officers, fire, and EMS. We are here to support them," said President of the Legion Riders Post 278 Mike Ross.

Friends and neighbors lined the streets to show their support.

"I've known the Zirbel family for a long time. In fact, I remember when Ben's dad was the Chief of Police," said resident Steve Hubert.

Steve described the Zirbels as hard workers, community people, and the kind of folks you want as friends.

He says the loss of Ben hurts the entire community.

"Nobody likes to see somebody that young die tragically. Every time that happens, it takes a little bit of the community away from us," said Ben.

Ben was 40 when he passed away. He is survived by his loving wife, son, sisters, brother, father, and numerous extended family members.

Sunday the community showed his family that Ben will never be forgotten.

"It's amazing that all these people are taking time out of there day to come and show their respect to Ben," said Captain Franke.


Talia Milavetz

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