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Florida deputy’s funeral Mass being held in Massachusetts

March 23, 2016

FALMOUTH, Mass. (AP) — A Florida sheriff’s deputy killed in a traffic crash this month was remembered Wednesday at his funeral Mass for his dedication and positive attitude.

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Deputy John Robert Kotfila Jr. was laid to rest in hometown of Falmouth, Massachusetts.

“In this business you don’t find too many who do what we do, see what we see and still keep a positive outlook. Somehow, John did just that,” Hillsborough County Master Deputy Gary Herman Jr. said at the funeral at St. Patrick’s Church. “To him, every day was a new opportunity to right a wrong, catch a bad guy or save a life.”

Dozens of police officers from departments across Massachusetts and the nation saluted outside the church as Kotfila’s flag-draped coffin was carried inside to the sound of bagpipes.

His family, including his father, a Massachusetts State Police sergeant, and brother, a Falmouth police officer, followed.

Falmouth Police Chief Edward Dunne called it “a very solemn day.”

One of Kotfila’s brothers, Patrick, said Kotfila died saving the life of another driver.

“It just shows the type of person John Robert was,” he said.

Authorities say Kotfila’s vehicle was hit head-on by a wrong-way driver in Brandon, Florida, near Tampa, on March 12. The other driver, who was drunk at the time, also died.

It was the second funeral for a police officer in Massachusetts in as many days. State Trooper Thomas Clardy, who also died in a traffic crash, was buried Tuesday.

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