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Emotional Farewell For San Jose Police Officer At SAP Center

SAN JOSE (CBS SF) – Thousands of law enforcement officers from across the state and nation gathered Tuesday for the memorial service of San Jose police officer who died in a traffic collision last week.

Officer Michael Katherman was on duty driving a police motorcycle up North 10th Street on June 14th when he was hit by a southbound silver minivan that attempted to make a left turn.

He was transported to a hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.

Katherman, 34, left behind his wife, April, and two children.

San Jose police Chief Eddie Garcia told those assembled inside the SAP Center that Katherman had a "zest for life."

Although he didn't personally know Katherman, Garcia called him an "exceptional cop and an even better man."

"He was the ultimate partner and you knew you would be safe with him," Garcia said.

Katherman's father, Tom, said his son loved his job.

"Mike loved his job and he loved all of you," Tom Katherman told the officers assembled. "Mike was a passionate person. His passion for God, his passion for his family, his passion for sports... This passion translated into every area of his life. For April and the boys -- all in. Riding his motorcycle -- all in...His passion for protecting the people of San Jose -- definitely he was all in."

About a dozen flower arrangements, including one that read Katherman's badge number 3900, were placed on and around the stage inside the arena. While pictures of Katherman through the years were displayed on the Jumbotron.

The two-hour service was followed by a motorcade through Interstate Highway 280 and U.S. Highway 101 to a cemetery in Gilroy for a private burial.

The San Jose Police Officers' Association is continuing to accept donations for Katherman's family online and by mail at 1151 N. Fourth St., San Jose, CA 95112.

Noticeably absent from the memorial was San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo. A spokesperson for Liccardo confirmed he was asked by the the Katherman family not to attend.

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