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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – It was a moving ceremony that bid farewell to Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens. Wednesday as a packed house at Prestonwood Baptist Church paid tribute to the fallen Dallas police officer.

Much has been made of Lorne Ahrens’ six-foot-four, 300-pound stature that made him an intimidating presence, but Wednesday those closest to him told mourners his heart was just as big.

Outside the church more than a thousand police cars prepared to take Lorne Ahrens home.

It was a massive display fitting this giant of an officer.

“No matter what Lorne was doing, he was often called to the front of the line. He loved the excitement,” Long time friend and fellow officer Eddie Coffey said.

Coffey recalled Aherns’ early days in the Police Academy. They were the culmination of a Texas dream come true for this Southern California native.

“Lorne would say, ‘You know, I was raised in the city of L.A., but I got to Texas as soon as I could,'” said Rick Owen, the family’s pastor.

More than 5000 mourners listened as fellow officer Debbie Taylor described what was plain to see.

“Lorne was one supersize can of kick ass,” Taylor said.

But behind that imposing figure was a gentle spirit known well to those closest to him.

“Not everyone takes an old love letter with their wife and her lipstick kiss and puts a tattoo on his neck, and he did,” Coffey said.

Friends offered comfort to Ahrens’ wife and children and promised to look out for them just as he had dedicated himself to doing for anyone who needed him.

“While we are all struggling with the loss of Lorne, remember to honor his memory by honoring his life. Lorne’s life mattered,” Taylor said.

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