Polk County Master Deputy Shane Robbins remembered as loving family man and hero

4:33 PM, Apr 30, 2013   |    comments
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Lakeland, Florida -- Hundreds of law enforcement officers gathered in Lakeland Tuesday to honor the memory of Master Deputy Shane Robbins. They stood at somber attention as helicopters flew over First Baptist Church at the Mall and while Robbins' daughter Carlie released a fluttering dove.

Robbins leaves to grieve a wife and five children.

Carlie and two other daughters spoke during the service. It's hard to imagine this big, burly man cutting and dyeing his daughters' hair, but that was their dad.

"We always joke around, sing and have fun together," read Carlie from a book she had written about her "pop pop" when she was six.

"He always taught me strength and kept me on a good path, even if his lessons included phrases like 'straighten up', 'fly right', and 'walk it off,'" Kayla Armstrong told the packed church.

With his big smile, Robbins liked to play jokes. So Tuesday's service also included some laughs. Sgt. Annie Sockwell of the Polk Sheriff's Office recalled the first time she met Robbins. When her team's battering ram couldn't take down a door, Robbins, a patrol deputy at the time, had a different solution.

"And he grabs this door and just ripped it off the trailer. It was like he was opening a sardine can," said Sockwell with a grin.

Robbins was big in body, but also big in heart. Co-workers say Robbins excelled in the Special Victims Unit investigating crimes against children. 

"He could turn a look of fear in a child's eye into a smile of trust and gratitude," said Det. Doug Tanner.

Robbins took pride in his job and loved his wife and kids and on this day both of his family's hurt. And as a recording of the traditional "last call" was played, their sobs could be heard right along with the words, "Master Deputy Shane Robbins, ID 44-52 is not in service. He will be forever remembered."

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