DANBURY, Conn. — Over 100 police officers from Danbury were joined by fellow first responders from other towns in lining up at St. Peter's Church on Friday to honor a Danbury police sergeant who died Sunday.
Danbury Police Sgt. Drew Carlson, a13-year veteran of the force and a New Fairfield resident, was 38.
Main Street was closed in front of the church as a Funeral Mass was celebrated for Carlson, who committed suicide after barricading himself in a hotel in Southbury.
The police officers were joined by local firefighters as well as first responders from the Connecticut State Police, the Connecticut Environmental Police and other departments. A number of officers also came from the Norwalk Police Department, with many also helping out on shifts during Carlson's wake and funeral.
The officers lined up in the road as Carlson's flag-draped coffin was brought into St. Peter's for the Mass and again afterward. It is the same church where Carlson was baptized, confirmed and married.
In 2002, Carlson graduated from the Connecticut Police Academy. After performing security officer duties at Danbury Hospital, he began his law enforcement career in New Fairfield and then moved to Danbury in 2004.
As he worked his way up through the ranks, Carlson became a skilled field training officer and mentor to new members. He understood the rigors of being a novice in the police department and often worked through holidays and took on double shifts so that more junior officers could spend time with their families, according to his obituary.
In 2016, Carlson was promoted to sergeant. He received a Meritorious Citation in 2014 and in 2016 received a life-saving medal.
His death was mourned by first responders in Danbury.
"Our thoughts and prayers for the Danbury PD and the family of our lost Police Officer," Mayor Mark Boughton said on Twitter. Boughton joined the first responders in lining up outside St. Peter's.
Carlson was born in Danbury on May 25, 1979. He attended St. Peter School and Henry Abbott Technical High School, where he excelled in sports, including basketball and baseball, and graduated in 1997.
He transferred his love of sports into a lifelong passion for the Mets, and there was nothing he enjoyed more than taking his family to Citi Field for an afternoon game.
Carlson is survived by his wife of 14 years, Erin Cullen Carlson; his children Kayla, Taylor and Tyler; his parents, Lynn and Wayne Carlson; sister Kristina Carlson and her partner Alan Roberts; brother Scott Carlson; and many other relatives.
"On behalf of Sergeant Carlson’s family and his extended family at the Danbury Police Department, we thank you for your show of support and ask that you continue to keep us all in your thoughts and prayers," the Danbury Police Department said in a Facebook post.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial donations be made to the Wounded Warrior Project .
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