FRIENDS and family are mourning the passing of a well-known and long-serving, former Newbury police officer.
Shane Cooke died on Sunday, December 10.
As Sgt Cooke, during a 30-year career with the police, he established the door-safe and Newbury Pub Watch schemes.
National media picked up on his colourful reputation, dubbing him "the Sheriff of Newbury."
Hailed as an "old school policeman" by civic dignitaries, he received a commendation in 1997 from the Chief Constable for "courage, humanity and devotion to duty" and in 2002 he was named Thames Valley Police Community Officer of the Year.
But in 2006, in a major shake-up of town centre policing which dismayed many, Sgt Cooke was told he would be moved to other duties in Hungerford.
However, at that time he retired from the force and forged a new career with Bridgegate Security (GB) Ltd, who said in a statement: "It is with great sadness that we must announce the passing of one of our own, Shane Cooke.
"Shane had been our Operations Manager for the past ten years and was an absolutely invaluable member of the team as well as a respected colleague and dear friend to many."
Mr Cooke, a devoted family man, is survived by his wife Maria, and his daughters Clare and Mandy.
For a full report and tributes pick up the Newbury Weekly News on Thursday.