BRIDGEWATER TWP., N.J. - In a packed chapel in Bridgewater Township, New Jersey, dozens of officers, community members, and loved ones remembered the life of Allentown Detective James Stanko.

He was a man known for going above and beyond the call of duty.

"Jim encapsulated the very best ideals of what it meant to be a police officer," said Allentown Police Chief Charles Roca.

Stanko most recently served as a Youth Detective assigned to the Community Outreach Unit where he made it his mission to empower the younger generation. Roca says his selfless services touched the lives of everyone who knew him.

"Breaking down barriers and connecting with people on many different levels from the youngest of our residents to the oldest, Jim was always there," Roca said.

Stanko passed away Jan. 17 after being hospitalized since the start of the year. His death shocked the community and devastated those that knew him best.

His daughters Brooke and Lily called their dad a hero.

"My incredible father was a careful loving husband, a wise forgiving officer, a reliable, generous friend, and a loyal man of God. Everyone knows how amazing my dad was," said Brooke.

In his nearly 13 years with the department, his colleagues say Stanko was a dedicated public servant in and out of uniform.

"Being a cop is not something you do. It's something you are for the good ones, and Jim was a good one. Jim brought who he was to this job. His character, love, and compassion touched so many," said Sgt. Bill Williams.

His cause of death has not been released.

James Stanko was 51.

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