Family honors fallen Johnstown police officer

Johnstown, Cambria County, Pa. - Brandon Rager said his father, Shawn, always knew how to make people laugh.

"He was just super goofy, super fun, super fun to be around and I was always laughing around him," said Rager, a 21-year-old Johnstown resident and current student at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.

Shawn Rager was a father of four, husband and Johnstown police officer.

He died on October 13, 2016 from natural causes at 45-years-old. His death came just two days before he would have celebrated 24 years on the Johnstown police force.

Sergeant Michael Plunkard worked with Officer Rager for 15 years. He also knew him on a personal level: Shawn was his uncle.

"He was a great officer. He was a great mentor, especially for me being family. He was probably the reason why I became a police officer," said Johnstown Police Sergeant Michael Plunkard.

The Ragers joined forces with Crucified Ministries Church to start a memorial food drive in Shawn's honor. They are collecting non-perishable food items and personal hygiene products to donate to people in need in Johnstown.

Brandon said his father always tried to help others.

"Growing up, he didn't have a lot. As a police officer, his main goal was to serve the community and help any way he could. Whether it was just $50 of food, or being nice to kids as he walked by a playground," Brandon said.

That kindness is what Officer Rager's family wants to pay forward.

"We've had such amazing support from the community. People have helped us every step of the way. And that's truly what has gotten us through. We want to turn around to the community what received and help any way we can," said Brandon.

The memorial food drive will take place on Saturday, October 14 at the parking lot across the street from the Johnstown Police Department located at 401 Washington St, Johnstown, PA 15901.The food drive runs from 10am-1pm.

You can also donate money and goods by contacting Crucified Ministries Church located at 220 Maple Ave, Johnstown, PA 15901. The church's phone number is: (814) 303-9215.

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