DETROIT (WXYZ) — Police officers, family, friends and community members gathered to celebrate the life of Officer Rasheen McClain outside the 12th Precinct on Monday.
McClain gave his life as he worked to protect and serve the citizens of Detroit. His partner was also shot as they responded to a call on Nov. 20, and remains in the hospital.
Relatives shared how McClain considered police work his calling.
Police Chief James Craig said he met McClain and immediately found him impressive. He offered him the opportunity for other roles but McClain wanted to patrol his precinct and serve the community.
“He was overall just a gem for the Detroit Police Department,” said Sgt. Sherley Bledsoe of the Detroit Police Department’s 12th Precinct.
Sgt. Bledsoe says that having Officer McClain in her precinct meant she had someone who increased the spirits of co-workers after a tough day at work. His fellow officers have shared videos on social media of him making them smile.
His sergeant says he didn’t just bring joy to his work, he brought integrity.
She says she experienced first hand what it was like to be pulled over by him in Detroit. She kept her head down at first to see how he would act.
“He did everything he was supposed to do," Bledsoe said. "He was very respectful... I turned and he saw it was me. He said sergeant, we stopped you because your tags are not on and he did just what he would do for any citizen. He put them on for me."
She is going to miss hearing officers laughing at his jokes or his dancing in between the rush of life and death calls.
“Our hearts are heavy," Bledsoe said. "Our hearts are heavy."