The funeral for Robert “Bobby” Shisler at Rowan University last week drew thousands – inside and outside the township – who paid their respects to the fallen Deptford officer.
Shisler died May 7 of injuries sustained in March, the first township officer to lose his life in the line of duty. The 27-year-old was shot in the leg during his pursuit of a pedestrian on Delsea Drive.
“It was our greatest honor to bring you home today,” Deptford police Sgt. Sean Gambale said of Shisler. “You are the best of all of us. People who don’t know you wonder how you fought so hard for so long, how you defied the odds over and over again when a normal man would have given up. We were not surprised in the least.
“You are, and always have been, the strongest person we know.”
“Bobby gave everyone and everything his all,” said Shisler’s sister, Ashley. “He was brave, devoted, fearless and so selfless.”
Among the mourners were police officers from neighboring towns and across the state, and even Canada and Britain, according to a close friend of Shisler’s.
“Us as law enforcement, a brotherhood and a sisterhood come together,” said Gloucester Township Police Chief David Harkins. “It brings us closer.”
Mantua Mayor Robert Zimmerman – a former police officer – described the tributes to Shisler in his weekly message to residents.
“There was an outpouring of support from near and far, from his LE (law enforcement) family to those just wishing to pay their respects for this young warrior who made the ultimate sacrifice,” Zimmerman noted.
“The Harrison Township community extends our deepest sympathy and prayers to patrol officer Bobby Shisler’s family, the entire Deptford community and the Deptford Township Police Department,” read a post on the Harrison Facebook page.
The support extended to Shisler after he was shot caught the attention of the nation and prompted a number of fundraisers in neighboring towns, including one in March at Holy City Publick House in Gloucester City.
“Rest in paradise, Bobby,” said Ashley Shisler as her brother was laid to rest. “We got it from here. I love you forever and I’ll miss you always.”