PHOENIX - It was a constant theme throughout Friday’s funeral service for fallen police Officer Jair Cabrera.
The seven-year veteran of the Salt River Police Department loved to make people laugh, according to memories shared by fellow officers that Police Chief Patrick Melvin read to the crowd.
"Whenever we were at serious or intense crime scenes, he would crack jokes or poke fun at an officer to make us laugh, to lighten up the mood after things settled down. Laughter was his specialty," Melvin read.
But what happened this past Saturday was no laughing matter, when Cabrera was killed in the line of duty during a traffic stop. His death, a stark reminder of the sacrifices officers like Cabrera make on a daily basis.
His father thanked officers in attendance for that sacrifice.
"I want to thank you all for coming here to honor my son. But more important than that, I want to thank you for what you do," said Alfonso Cabrera.
Avondale Police officer James Long went through the academy with Cabrera. His close friend may be gone, but he says his legacy will never be forgotten.
"We believe people saw as giants among men and children saw as guardian angels. Jair lived that life, and was an amazing officer, and an even better friend. A great giant has fallen," Long said.