Thousands Remember Dahlem
AÂ twenty-two year veteran of the Gainesville Police force, Dahlem dedicated his life to helping others. But last week he was hit by an accused drunk driver, and no help could save him.
At his funeral, it was standing room only inside the spacious Trinity United Methodist Church. In fact, so many people showed up, they filled the lobby and poured out onto the sidewalk.
Friends say Dahlem is a fan of photography and had a passion for music. Fittingly at his service, a slide show of him through the years was shown on two large projectors, while Celine Dion music filled the air.
Standing over his casket, the pastor led everyone in prayer then spoke of his love of his job and his deep love of his family.
"He was a wonderful family man," says family friend Francine Chidgey. "My son and his son Brandon went to school together and they ran for Buchholz. Corey was the first dad there and the last dad to leave."
State and local officials also came to remember Dahlem, including Governor Charlie Crist. His colleagues say it's a testament to his character...
Dahlem always wanted to help others. Ironically they say even in death, he may continue doing just that.
"This will hopefully have someone think twice about, maybe I don't need that last drink, maybe I don't need to drive. Because all of this could have been avoided if somebody would have made a better decision," says colleague Lieutenant Keith Kameg.
Friends say Dahlem's immediate family appreciates the outpouring of support from the community and are hanging in there now, but it will be difficult. This was a special man, and a special father.
Gainesville hasn't lost many officers in the line of duty. The last was Scott Baird in 2001.
By Anne Imanuel, WCJB TV 20 News
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