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Former ACPD Officer Featured in Rockwell Painting Dies

by Katie Pyzyk May 10, 2012 at 11:15 am 2,540 6 Comments

A former Arlington County Police officer who gained much recognition for being depicted in a famous Norman Rockwell painting has passed away.

Richard Clemens was born in New York City and spent much of his career as a Massachusetts state trooper. Rockwell, who was Clemens’ neighbor, asked the trooper to pose for the 1958 painting with an 8-year-old boy. It shows an officer counseling a young boy who wants to leave home, and was featured on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post. It’s a well known painting in the law enforcement community, and can often be found in police stations across the country.

Before moving to Massachusetts, Clemens was a police officer in Arlington from July 1952 through August 1953. Records show his address as having been in the Long Branch Creek neighborhood.

Clemens retired from the Massachusetts State Police as a detective. He accrued awards throughout his career, including one for outstanding police service.

Most recently, Clemens lived in New York state. That’s where his funeral will be held tomorrow.

  • Lauren

    I had read about his death – nice to see a link with Arlington. RIP

  • From the Hill

    Clemens was the last LEO that could afford to live in Arlington.

  • Someguy

    Met his quota of days on this Earth.

    The obituary says he was an officer in “Arlington Heights, VA.” Was that something separate from Arlington back in the day?

    • nom de guerre

      I’m guessing it might be a mistake. Arlington Heights is a neighborhood/civic association whose boundries are Walter Reed Drive, Columbia Pike, Glebe Road and Route 50. The article indicates that he resided in Long Branch Creek which is east of 395 and whose other boundaries include S. Glebe Road and S. Lang Street.

      Donaldson Run is the only thing that is separate from Arlington-a fully independent principality that is located within the borders.

  • R.I.P. *howls*

  • Jon

    Sad news. Props to ARLNOW to finding this tidbit of news and sharing.

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