Lakeland officer laid to rest, leaving behind legacy of kindness

Polk County

LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) – A Lakeland police officer known for his kind heart and cheerful demeanor was laid to rest Tuesday with full honors.

Officer Ken Foley, 57, died last week after being found unresponsive in his police cruiser.

It’s believed he died from natural causes, police say. An autopsy is still pending.

“We’re going to miss his presence. We’re going to miss his authentic, the character that he had. It’s police officers like that that make this job just a little easier to endure,” said Capt. Marvin Tarver, who worked with Officer Foley for decades.

Officer Foley served as a Lakeland police officer for 29 years, mostly patrolling for north Lakeland businesses and the Lakeland Regional Health emergency room.

Courtesy Lakeland Police Department

“He would routinely take time to ask me ‘Sgt., how you doing?’ He would always come by the supervisor’s table after each briefing and he’d give each supervisor a fist pump,” said Sgt. Tye Thompson.

His colleagues say Officer Foley was a family man through and through. He was devoted to his two daughters and his wife, Shelly, who he often referred to as the love of his life.

Prior to joining Lakeland Police, Foley spent eight years with the U.S. Marine Corps.

“Thank you for being a servant to the people while still being their protector. For being that everyday local hero that comes to every shift with no idea of what the day may hold,” said Chief Ruben Garcia.

Courtesy Lakeland Police Department

His fellow officers pledge to continue his legacy at Lakeland Police Department.

“We all bring different strengths to the table. This was definitely Ken’s strength – the kind word, something I challenge each of us all to do in his memory,” said Sgt. Thompson.

LATEST POLK COUNTY NEWS:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Top Videos

Gift cards destroyed

Thumbnail for the video titled "Gift cards destroyed"

Senator urges Trump to orchestrate coordinated approach to prevent spread of coronavirus

Thumbnail for the video titled "Senator urges Trump to orchestrate coordinated approach to prevent spread of coronavirus"

Family pleads for help on 11th day of elderly woman's disappearance

Thumbnail for the video titled "Family pleads for help on 11th day of elderly woman's disappearance"

Big bust

Thumbnail for the video titled "Big bust"

Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs

Thumbnail for the video titled "Puppies train to be superheroes at Southeastern Guide Dogs"

Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa Bay man runs Gasparilla race in memory of his late wife"

Cyber Safety Day

Thumbnail for the video titled "Cyber Safety Day"

Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later

Thumbnail for the video titled "Coast Guard remembers deadly Blackthorn crash 40 years later"

Blackthorn 40th anniversary

Thumbnail for the video titled "Blackthorn 40th anniversary"

Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting

Thumbnail for the video titled "Hundreds expected at Polk Co. School Board meeting"

Tampa police need help identifying suspect in machete attack

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tampa police need help identifying suspect in machete attack"

Tuesday Midday Weather Update

Thumbnail for the video titled "Tuesday Midday Weather Update"
More Local News

Trending Stories

get the app

News App

Weather App

Don't Miss

More Don't Miss