DETROIT. - Community members and leaders gathered to say goodbye to Sheriff Benny Napoleon.
"I feel empty and devastated because me and my brother were close," said Sheriff Napoleon’s brother, Hilton Napoleon.
Hilton Napoleon arrived at the public viewing for his brother, who passed away from COVID 19, the same virus that kept him hospitalized for weeks and is still recovering from.
"It’s a rough experience, and people do not want to catch this," Hilton said.
But a deadly virus could not take away the light Sheriff Napoleon leaves behind.
On Tuesday, community leaders from all across Metro Detroit were on hand at Greater Grace to honor a man who touched so many.
"His presence said a lot," said Macomb County Executive, Mark Hackel, "He made everyone feel welcomed just by his engagement with them."
"Benny Napoleon touched everyone, he was a great law enforcer and public servant," Detroit Mayor, Mike Duggan, said.
Detroit Police Chief, James Craig, and Macomb County Sheriff, Anthony Wickersham, both battled COVID and were on hand to offer their own praise.
"A great mentor," Wickersham said. "Someone to look up to and reach out to for advice."
"People Napoleon touched succeeded," Chief Craig said.
It was Sheriff Napoleon’s power to connect with people, that his former classmates realized when they attended junior high together and took a class trip to Niagara Falls.
And many believe the legacy Sheriff Napoleon leaves behind will live on for generations to come
"He just lived and breathed the City," said high school friend, Paul Davis. "He was a great human being."