STROUD TOWNSHIP -- A police officer who received so much support from the community as he was battling cancer died this morning.
Officer Ruben Torres, a 25-year veteran of the police force at Stroud Area Regional died this morning.
Officers at Stroud Area Regional Police Department went to work with heavy hearts after losing one of their own to cancer.
"This is something very difficult to prepare, but I`d like to report that Officer Ruben Torres with our department has been battling cancer for three months, passed away this morning," said SARP Chief William Parrish.
Friends of Officer Torres said he returned home from treatments in Mexico this Fourth of July weekend and was able to spend time with each of his eleven kids. Five of those children are adopted. Several suffer from down syndrome.
Through the entire fight, Torres' fellow officers said he stayed strong.
"The cancer may have taken his life, but it never took his spirit and his attitude, which is something you can never replace," said SARP Lt. Jennifer Lyon.
Torres used to lead processions through town on this Harley. He was one of the founding members of the motorcycle unit.
He was set to retire in May after years of accident reconstruction work.
"His skills were well appreciated. His interaction with the community and as an ambassador to the police department are going to be very tough, tough shoes to fill," said SARP Captain Brian Kimmins.
Over the past few months the community rallied around Torres and this police department, helping to pay for his care, and help the family he loved so much.
"You don`t get many thank you's on the job and this really is a big one, not for just Ruben, but for everybody that works in this police department, that they'll stand up for one of us in times of need," said SARP Lt. Kevin Transue.
Officers said as they struggle to say goodbye to Torres, they'll remember what he taught them through this difficult battle.
"You're responsible for your own happiness, and that you're the only one that controls your own destiny," said Lt. Lyon.
Fundraisers are still being held for Officer Ruben Torres' family. On Tuesday, Big Daddy's Barbecue in Bartonsville will have a fundraiser from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.
There is also a 5K planned for Ruben Torres on July 15. Registration is at Rudy's Bar in East Stroudsburg from 5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m.
Visiting hours will be on Wednesday, July 9 from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Thursday, July 10 from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. at Clark's Funeral Home located at 1003 Main Street in Stroudsburg.