Positive attitude propelled officer - WFLA News Channel 8

Positive attitude propelled officer

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By Jennifer Leigh, Lauryn Mayk

Arnulfo Crispin wanted to be a police officer since he was a kid.

"The childhood that we grew up (in), it was tough sometimes," said his older brother Frankie Crispin at a news conference Thursday at the Lakeland Police Department headquarters. "Parents might have been this and that, arguing or whatever, so he grew up knowing that I'm going to grow up to become a police officer."

Arnulfo Crispin, 25, carried a positive attitude and was quick with a smile or joke, his brother said. Even though his nine siblings hadn't been raised under perfect circumstances, he always believed they could achieve and make something of themselves.

"He always told them you can have a future," Frankie Crispin said. "You can go to school, finish high school, go to college and you can make something out of yourself."

He was the first in the family to earn a college degree, graduating with an associate's degree from Polk State College, and recently had enrolled at the University of South Florida, where he planned to get a bachelor's degree in criminal justice.

Crispin died early Wednesday after 18 months as a Lakeland police officer. He was shot just after 10?p.m. Sunday while checking on three men in a city park on Crystal Grove Lane.

Police have arrested the man they say was the shooter, 19-year-old Kyle Williams, who has been charged with murder of a law enforcement officer.

A gun recovered Tuesday at the Crystal Court Apartments has been identified as a match to a shell casing found at the scene of the shooting.

"That's very significant," said Charles Thompson, the Lakeland police assistant chief. "We no longer have to look for the weapon."

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is conducting ballistics tests on the pistol discovered at the apartment.

Frankie Crispin said he forgives Williams.

"I forgive you for what you've done, and because that is the love of Christ," Frankie Crispin said.

He thanked the community for offering its support and standing by the family. On Wednesday night, hundreds came to the Lakeland police headquarters to honor Arnulfo Crispin in a candle light vigil.

"I want to thank everyone for all the help, for the companionship and most importantly the prayers because that is what has maintained our family together," Frankie Crispin said.

The public viewing and visitation for Crispin will be from 6 to 9 p.m. Monday at Resurrection Church, 3720 Old Road 37 in Lakeland.

The funeral service is scheduled for 10?a.m. Tuesday at Victory Church, 1401 Griffin Road, in Lakeland. After the funeral, the procession will go to Oakhill Cemetery, 4620 U.S. 98 S.

The Lakeland Law Enforcement Chaplaincy Corps Inc. has established the Arnulfo Crispin Memorial Fund in his honor.

Donations to the officer's fund can be mailed to the Lakeland Police Department in care of the Arnulfo Crispin Memorial Fund, 219 N. Massachusetts Ave., Lakeland, FL 33801

Donations can also be made at any Wells Fargo bank; indicate they are for the Crispin fund.

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