MONROE, N.C. - Hundreds attended a final salute to Monroe Police Officer Paul Perrette Thursday, who was killed last week in a motorcycle crash.
"His laughter was contagious," said Dr. Michael Harvey, Principal at Monroe High School. "There wasn't a day that didn't go by, no matter how hard the challenge that we didn't laugh," he said.
But this challenge, the hardest one yet. Perrette joined the Monroe Police Department eight years ago, spending the last three years as a School Resource Officer at Monore High.
Many of the students he mentored attended his funeral service at Lee Park Baptist Church.
"I'm never going to get over hearing that Perrette isn't here anymore," said Monore High Senior, Samuel Cox. "One of his favorite things to say, is all we had is all we need," Cox recalled. "Because if all we have is each other, that's all we're ever going to need.
Now, the community is needing each other after the loss of Officer Perrette. His death is being called a freak accident.
"It's so hard, so emotional to find the words to comprehend why that happened how that happened," said Pete Hovanec, Spokesperson for the City of Monroe.
Perrette's brothers in blue coming out in full force. The processional of police cruisers stretched in the distance as they escorted his flag draped casket to the church.
Perrette received a 21-gun salute and a officers from his department surrounded him for one final goodbye. The community he served also standing with him.
"Everybody from the guy who sweeps to the floors, to the lady who serves the food to teachers who deliver the instruction Pauly had a tremendous impact on our lives," said Principal Harvey.
That impact is continuing in the people he touched.
"This year, I'm pushing harder in my school work, focusing in all my classes for Officer Perrette," Cox promised.
"You don't replace a Paul Perrette," Harvey declared.
Officer Perrette leaves behind a wife and two children.