Tampa, Florida - It was an emotional goodbye Saturday for a Tampa Police Officer who had a passion for helping children in the community.
The funeral for Randy Davis was held at Seminole Heights United Methodist Church in Tampa. At 54 years old, Randy Davis, a father and husband who loved NASCAR races lost his battle with cancer. Davis was diagnosed on December 4th and died one month later.
Officer Davis was a 26 year veteran who spent most of his career helping children. Most recently he was assigned to the Police Athletic League where kids, typically from low to moderate income households headed by a single parent, participate in after school programs.
Larry Timmer is a retired Tampa Police Officer who knew Davis well and says, "He just wanted to improve the quality of life for children."
Davis started several programs aimed at keeping children safe like a drug prevention course for middle school students. He made sure high school students were able to use a DUI simulator so they could see first hand the dangers of drunk driving. He also initiated the program Cops Against Racing on the Streets (CARS) which guides young drivers toward making safe, smart decisions while driving. The program works with teens to help them avoid reckless driving and racing on streets.
My Teen Behind the Wheel was also a safety class Davis started for parents and their teen drivers to give parents the tools to teach their teenagers safe driving skills.
Timmer adds, "Being a police officer our passion is to put the bad guys away in jail and to help those who need help but it takes another quality for a person as a police officer to be able to work with children day in and day out."
He says for Davis it was a labor of love. "He was able to do that wonderfully. He loved doing that. That was just what he wanted to do."
During his career Davis also served as a Field Training Officer and School Resource Officer. He leaves behind his wife, Heather, and his two children, Jennifer and Michael.
During his funeral his children spoke about their love and respect for their father. Michael Davis is a Marine. His sister Jennifer spoke about not having their father around to walk her down the aisle on her wedding day.
Friends say Officer Randy Davis was not only a role model to his kids but to young kids who often called Davis "Coach Randy". Timmer says, "I'm just saddened by the fact that he wasn't able to do the things that he still wanted to do especially with his teen driving program."
Tammie Fields, 10 Connects