Former Franklin police captain dies at 63

Dec. 30, 2015

Franklin— Former Police Captain Clark Groen, served with the Franklin Police Department for 36 years before retiring in 2010, died Dec. 27 from cancer. He was 63.

Groen was born in San Antonio, Texas, but grew up in Cudahy, according to his obituary. He joined the Franklin Police Department in 1974 at the age 21 and held several roles, including patrol officer, juvenile officer, detective, lieutenant and captain.

"Clark was a steady hand. He had a very composed, dignified demeanor. He could handle the most critical incidents in a calm and controlled manner," franklin Police Chief Rick Oliva said. "Clark was a huge asset to the department and his (retirement) was a great loss."

His longevity in the department was matched by his character.

"I've known Clark for a long time. ... He was known for his integrity," said Capt. Joseph Spak, who worked with Groen for 25 years. "He was a great police officer and he was a great human."

Spak also remembered Groen for this "consistency" in his handling of public affairs.

"He was consistent," Spak said. "His temperament, his demeanor, the way he dealt with people was always respectful."

Groen also worked with Franklin Public Schools to start the D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program in Franklin, Spak added.

Groen is survived by his wife, Janice, and his two sons, Matthew and Jesse, as well as six grandchildren.

A funeral service was held for Groen on Dec. 30 at Racine Bible Church.

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