By Seth Gonzales
The Texas Catholic
Senior Cpl. Lorne Ahrens was the biggest man in most rooms — and cars, for that matter.
“The first thing I thought when I saw him was, ‘How the heck is this guy going to get in and out of a squad car,’ ” said Senior Cpl. Jaime Castro, who worked with Ahrens at the Dallas Police Department’s Southeast Division. “He was huge.”
At 6 feet 4 inches and 300 pounds, the southern California native cut an intimidating figure, topped off by the tattoos that ran down both his arms. But “Meat,” as he was affectionately called by his peers, was anything but an intimidating personality, especially around his own children, 10-year-old Sorcha and 8-year-old Magnus.
“There are so many stories of him wrestling with the kids, playing with them and even watching cartoons with them to the point that they would be late for school,” recalled friend and fellow officer Eddie Coffey during a funeral at Prestonwood Baptist Church in Plano on July 13.
Dallas Police Officer Debbie Taylor recalled one instance when Ahrens encountered a scared child who had just witnessed a domestic violence arrest in a tough South Dallas neighborhood. Taylor said that before speaking to the boy’s mother, Ahrens knelt down at eye-level with the boy and within minutes, had the boy smiling and laughing.
“He had that effect on all of us,” said Taylor. “This is just one example of Lorne as a gentle giant.”
Taylor said she and her colleagues could only marvel and laugh at the brute strength of the 14-year veteran, who would casually rip off burglar bars from suspected drug houses with his bare hands and flatten fences that happened to be in the way while chasing a suspect.
The oldest of five children, Lorne Ahrens was born on May 9, 1968 and grew up in the suburbs of Los Angeles.
After working his way through junior college, Ahrens took a job with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, where he remained for 11 years until joining the Dallas Police Department.
It was there that he met his wife Katrina, a detective with DPD.
“Lorne had several partners throughout his career, but the most important partnership was the one he had with Katrina,” Taylor said. “Katrina and Lorne were the ultimate partners; a team dedicated to each other; partners balancing two police careers but most importantly, partners raising two wonderful children.”
Ahrens quickly gained notoriety among his colleagues for his outgoing demeanor, love of a good laugh, his meticulous study of case law, and relentless passion for his profession.
“His loud voice and big size intimidated many, but Lorne had the biggest heart and the best intentions,” Coffey said. “He was a down-to-earth kind of guy. His wish was to wear shorts, a t-shirt and no shoes when he was laid to rest, because that’s the kind of guy he was.”
During the funeral service, Ahrens’ pastor Rick Owen encouraged those in attendance to hold fast to their faith, referencing Jesus’ promises in the Beatitudes.
“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted…Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called children of God.”