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Former ACPD Officer Featured in Rockwell Painting Dies

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.

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