Public memorial today for decorated Polk County deputy - FOX 13 News

Public memorial today for decorated Polk County deputy

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Those who know Shane Robbins describe him as a gentle giant.

He could be intimidating -- he shaved his head, sported tattoos, and rode a motorcycle. But friends say he had an inner light, an infectious smile, and a passion for protecting the community -- especially children.

"He is a large man. The only thing larger than him, was his heart," said Detective Jason Mc Pherson.

"He had this incredible spirit," said Sargent Angie Sockwell, his supervisor at the Polk Couny Sheriff's Office Special Victims Unit, which includes crimes against children.

On Tuesday, Robbins was laid to rest with hundreds of his fellow law enforcement officers in attendance. They said their final farewell during a service at the First Baptist Church at the Mall in Lakeland.

Robbins was killed last week when his cruiser veered off Bomber Road and hit a massive oak tree. Investigators are trying to figure out what caused the crash. The Medical Examiner's report says Robbins did not have a medical problem.

He leaves behind a wife and five children.

Speaking to the children, Polk Sheriff Grady Judd commented: "Your papa was a hero, and he'll always be watching over you. Shane will always be remembered because a hero remembered never dies."

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