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Friends remember fallen Jacksboro detective | News

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Friends remember fallen Jacksboro detective

(WBIR - Campbell County) A Jacksboro Police detective died Friday from injuries he suffered while responding to a car accident that killed a man and child.

The Campbell County Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page Friday night that Detective Mike Starrett died while at UT Medical Center.

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In the post, his comrades lauded the passion he held for his job, and that "He fought bravely and chiefly with the heart of a lion".

Det. Starrett served as a deputy sheriff in Campbell County for four years and has been a detective for the Jacksboro Police Department for the past 12 years, according to an obituary.

The post said "law enforcement was the joy & passion of his life." He also founded the Sons of Justice Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club and coordinated Campbell County's Shop With a Cop event for the past 12 years.

Friends say Detective Starrett knew everybody and loved to serve his community.

He was a detective, a husband and to many, a friend.

To Verlin Hatfield, he was known as "Cowboy." The pair rode motorcycles in the law enforcement defenders club for Cumberland Gap.

"We just hit it off and become good friends," said Hatfield, "He was a mentor to me."

Under Mike's leadership, the chapter became a blessing to the community; raising money to promote Shop with a Cop and the Campbell County Children's Center.

"Mike's main focus was children, he loved children and any event that we could do to raise money for children, we would do it". said Hatfield.

Last year, Starrett expanded the efforts by starting a new group, called the Sons of Justice. Cumberland Gap was left in Hatfield's leadership.

"I took over as president and he gave me his patches," Hatfield said, "And his president patch and I've held on to that the whole time."

The patches are a sweet gift he now treasures.

Hatfield said he might display the patches in a case and give them to Starrett's wife, Jerri. Hatfield and his wife, Jessica, know her as her riding name "Button." A name they say Mike gave her because he would say "she is as cute as a button."

The couple had a chance to visit Mike one last time at the hospital.

"Soon as he heard me talk, he turned around and said hey whats going on Big V, my rider name," said Hatfield, "And it just touched me so good because that was my buddy right there."

Though Mike Starrett is gone, fond memories will always remain.

"That love, that Mike Starrett love that only he could show, that's what I will remember the most." said Hatfield.

He says Mike's laugh and personality could light up any space.

"You just bring him into a room and he knew everybody, social butterfly, just amazing, amazing person," said Hatfield.

They continue to look towards the future, but will always remember their friend, Cowboy.

"We'll continue to move on because we have to, he'll never be forgotten, he'll never be replaced because you can't replace that," he said.

Starrett's family will receive friends from 1 to 9 p.m. on Wednesday at Indiana Avenue Baptist Church. His funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday.


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