NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - Officer Victor Decker's beat for the Norfolk Police Department became a place where residents embraced him as family.
"Actually we met him on the stoop here. He was on his bike, the young man. We would invite him in for dinner, to get a bite to eat whenever he could take a break," Freemason resident Neil Stevens told WAVY.com.
Stevens described Decker as a quiet, caring man, with a new passion.
"His face would light up when it came to that little girl. If you asked to see her picture, he got real excited about talking about it and how she was developing in her personality."
A few blocks away on Granby Street, people placed candles near a light pole. A sign, surrounded by flowers simply read, 'You were a friend to so many.'
"He would just go out of his way to help anybody," said Bodega manager Brian Ruth.
Businesses and customers loved him right back.
"He would actually bring customers, if he saw somebody having a good time, he'd say 'go over here go over there,' shuffle them around, tell them a different place to go and where to eat," said Ruth.
Baxter Simmons said Decker would always stop by on his Friday and Saturday night bike patrols. When he did, he gave more than just a passing wave.
"He looked out for us even when we were getting off work. He'd come by and check on people. He'd come by and make sure we had his cell phone if we needed things. He was always available to us," said Simmons.
To the people that lived and worked along Granby, Decker was more than just a cop. He was a friend.
"He loved beer. I've got a really good beer selection, and he'd come in when I got porters and winter beers in. He got all excited about them," said Ruth.
From one end of Granby to another, Decker made an impact. His light will shine on longer than the makeshift memorial of candles and flowers building in his name.
"He was definitely a friend," said Ruth.
In Decker's memory, the Norfolk Sheriff's Office has established the officer Victor Decker Memorial Fund to assist his wife and newborn daughter. Donation may be made to any Towne Bank branch in the name of "Officer Victor Decker Memorial Fund." Donations may also be mailed to the Officer Victor Decker Memorial Fund at P.O. Box 3236 Norfolk, Va. 23514.
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