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Remembering The Fallen: Friends Say Nothing Could Stop Lorne Ahrens

Without fail, everyone who talked about Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens mentioned how big he was. Six-foot-five, 300 pounds big. And strong.

He played semi-pro football while a dispatcher in the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department. He came to Dallas in 2002. Police colleague Eddie Coffey said Ahrens didn’t know his own strength.

“Lorne loved training,” Coffey said. “He never knew what 50 percent was."

Coffey told nearly 5,000 officers and friends at the funeral a story about a vehicle drill.

“At the end of the drill, the squad car hinges were bent, the door was really jacked up,” Coffey recalled. “He looked at me and said bro did I do that?”

That strength was carried from drills to the street, according to Officer Debbie Taylor, a colleague and friend. She said the big guy worked some of the toughest neighborhoods in Dallas.

“Nothing could stop Lorne - the super-sized can of kickass - from getting into a dope house. This included burglar bars.  Lorne, with his bare hands would rip the bars off of the house, and casually toss them to the side,” Taylor said.

With a fence in the way, Taylor said a colleague might hop it, but not Ahrens. He would just stomp it down. And get the bad guy.

Taylor helped introduce Ahrens to Katrina, the cop who would become his wife.  The two women were pursuing a suspect, but their car was broken and slow. So they called for more cars. By the time they reached the suspect’s home, he had been caught. By Ahrens.

“Lorne just told me this past year this car chase gave him the opportunity he had been waiting for. The opportunity to seriously begin talking to Katrina. So thanks to a squad car with a bad transmission, the rest is history,” Taylor said.

“They get married. For 12 years,” said the Ahrens’ pastor, Rick Owen.  

Owen said the pair became inseparable.

“Lorne and Katrina. Lorne and Katrina.  You don’t say Lorne. You don’t say Katrina. You say Lorne and Katrina,” Owen said. “They’re a team. Fred and Wilma.  Ricky and Lucy. Simon and Garfunkel.”  

The police pair have a girl and boy, Sorcha and Magnus, 10 and 8.

As lonely and sad as life will seem now, the family won’t be alone, said Dallas senior corporal Jaime Castro. He spoke at a vigil Monday.

“Lorne, I know you’re up there listening, brother," Castro said. "And I want you to know I was there outside the window by your side to see you take your final breath. You weren’t alone. I had your back as you always had ours.”

Now, the police here and across the country, will have the family’s back. 

Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens was remembered Wednesday at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.