Pleasanton, CA – Pleasanton Police Department (PPD) Officer Kyle Henricksen died on Tuesday, following a yearlong battle with pancreatic cancer, according to his department.
By the time the 36-year-old officer was diagnosed with Stage IV pancreatic cancer last year, it had already metastasized into the lining of his stomach, The Manteca Bulletin reported.
The local community and area law enforcement agencies rallied around Officer Henricksen and his young family as he valiantly battled for his life.
“Kyle left us all with a sense of awe and amazement in his courageous and remarkable fight, defying odds and exhibiting amazing strength with a smile he shared so easily and so frequently with others,” Pleasanton Police Chief David Spiller said in a press release on Wednesday.
“Kyle touched us all in ways that we will be forever grateful,” he continued. “Now we reflect on our time with Kyle as a gift in each of our lives.”
Officer Henricksen’s law enforcement career began in 2005, when he was hired as a deputy with the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, according to the PPD.
He joined PPD in 2009, where he spent six years as a patrol officer and four more years as a motor officer with the Special Operation Unit.
“His witty sense of humor was uplifting and appreciated by all,” the PPD statement said. “Kyle will be missed by all in our organizational family and community.”
Officer Henricksen participated in a multitude of community outreach programs, including Read Across America, Special Olympics events, and Coffee with a Cop, among others.
“I’m very saddened by the loss of Kyle, our co-worker and friend,” Pleasanton City Manager Nelson Fialho said in the press release. “He was an exceptional officer and his presence will be missed in our organization and community.”
“On behalf of the City, we are eternally grateful to Kyle and his family for the decade of service to Pleasanton and will be honoring his life and service to the community by lowering flags to half-staff at our city facilities for the remainder of the week,” Fialho wrote.
Officer Henricksen was especially devoted to his wife, Jennifer, and their family.
When Jennifer’s mother passed away unexpectedly shortly after they married, the couple brought Jennifer’s then-five-year-old sister, Destani, into their home and raised her as their own, The Manteca Bulletin reported.
Destani is now 19 years old.
They found themselves in a similar situation four years ago, after Officer Henricksen’s brother died of a heart condition.
The couple took on the role of parenting their now-18-year-old niece, Alyssa, and raised her alongside Destani and their two children, 12-year-old Zoey and 10-year-old Cohen, The Manteca Bulletin reported.
“There are so many reasons we all love Kyle,” family friend Zanna Wolfgang told the paper. “He was the guy who always showed up for his friends and family – he made us laugh, never too…serious, and he and Jenn truly lived life.”
“Most of all, it was the way he loved Jenn and their kids,” Wolfgang said. “He is an inspiration to all.”
In an update on the family’s fundraising page on Wednesday, Jennifer said her husband was “the greatest man [she’d] ever known.”
“I met Kyle when I was 18 years old and have loved him every moment since,” his widow said. “We took full advantage of everyday so even when he was handed a diagnosis like he was we never stopped. We never stopped living, we never stopped loving, and we never stopped fighting.”
“His passing was peaceful and calm,” Jennifer wrote. “We were all here, everyone he loved most in this world, holding him and letting him know how much he is loved and adored and that he would be with us always, on any adventure that comes our way moving forward he will be with us and he knows that we will be ok.”
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Pleasanton Police Department Officer Kyle Henricksen, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.
Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.