This picture sums up the silliness that graced us every day. Peace be with you Clarence.
And the news article:
Flint police officer recalled as tough but compassionate
by Bryn Mickle The Flint Journal
Friday August 14, 2009, 4:20 PM
FLINT, Michigan -- Clarence Banks saw himself as a big brother to the bullied.
The 23-year Flint Police Department veteran balanced a hard-nosed approach with a compassion for the people he was charged to protect.
"He stepped up to take care of people's problems," said Keith Speer, a Flint police officer who spent years as Banks' partner on the beat.
Banks, 47, died of a heart attack while off duty Thursday night.
The former U.S. Army drill sergeant was a longtime member of the department's honor guard and one of the city's first K-9 handlers, said Speer, president of the Flint police officers' union.
Banks credited his police dog Midnight with saving his family's lives in 1996 when the German Shepherd awoke him in the middle of the night and alerted him to a ruptured gas line.
The pair spent several years together searching for everything from missing children to robbery suspects before Midnight's death from lupus in 2002.
Speer said Banks also worked narcotics and street patrol but in recent months had been assigned to the city impound yard.
"You couldn't ask for a better backup," said Speer.
Flint Firefighter Rico Phillips recalled an incident when he called for help with a violent patient in the back of an ambulance.
"Clarence opened the door and immediately calmed the patient down," said Phillips."He had a certain way about him."
State police K-9 handler Troy Szukhent, who served in an Army Reserve Unit with Banks, said he had a reputation as a hard worker.
"He always had a good sense of humor," said Szukhent.
Flint Mayor Dayne Walling called Banks a "great officer who served the city for many years."
"He will definitely be missed around here," said Flint police Chief Alvern Lock.
Banks is survived by his wife and four children.
Funeral arrangements by Swartz Funeral Home were incomplete Friday afternoon.