School police officer remembered in Hamilton Township

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Hamilton Township officer remembered. Nora Muchanic reports during Action News at 4 p.m. on June 20, 2017.

Forty-four-year-old Hamilton Township Police Officer Tom White, an eight-year veteran of the department, died off-duty Monday afternoon.

His truck collided with a van on Nottingham Way, but the Mercer County prosecutor's office says the cause of death was not the crash, but a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

"My wife went to school with him and she was really upset yesterday when she found out that he passed," parent Joe Salvatore said.

White was the LEAD - or Law Enforcement Against Drugs - officer for the Reynolds Middle School and the co-director of Safety Town, where youngsters learn bike and pedestrian safety before entering school.

"He came in here every day and went above and beyond with interacting with the kids, talking to the kids," parent Debby Wolfe said.

Many of the Reynolds students wore blue in his honor Tuesday.

White was beloved by the children he dealt with.

"He was just a really good man and he helped a lot of people and cared about everybody. He just wanted good for everybody," student Casey Havens said.

"It's just a real shame that such a good person had to die so young. I really miss him," student Aidan Hardiman said.

Officer White was the father of two, one of his children attended Reynolds.

He was the recipient of many awards. Officer White received honors in 2011 for pulling two people out of a burning building.

He took time to talk to student Connor Wolfe when the boy's aunt died in March.

"He just brought me into guidance and we talked and he just made me feel like I was at home. We will miss you, Officer White," Wolfe said.

The flag is at half-staff and purple and black bunting hangs on the front of the police department which declined comment.

Mayor Kelly Yeade released a statement that says in part, "Officer White has touched many lives and worked to ensure the safety of our young people. For that, our community will always be grateful."
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