For 16 years, fellow officers say they've enjoyed seeing his familiar, smiling face around the Picayune Police Department. Now he's gone. Master Sergeant Paul Acker suffered a stroke in November while driving his patrol car. On Christmas Eve, he died. At his Acker's funeral in Picayune on Sunday mourners packed two overflow parking lot at Rose of Sharon Church of God In Christ in Picayune.
"They were telling us they were gonna have this many people but I didn't believe this many people was coming," said Leonard Morris, a friend of the Acker family
For the Picayune Police Department it's now a world without their beloved friend.
Chief Brenda Smith said "He wasn't about writing reports and putting people in jail. He was about talking to people and counseling people."
Over the years, friends say Acker counseled countless young people therefore, earning the former teacher and social worker the affectionate nickname "Uncle P".
Family member Reginald Oliver" Paul never met a stranger. I'm see him walk into a room at times and say "hello" and people would either smile or just crack up laughing."
The hundreds of people who took the time to pack a church shows how one life can touch so many other lives and how one man's example can make so many others want to follow in his footsteps.
Paul Acker is survived by a wife and four children. He was 60 years old.