Funeral procession honors ‘outstanding’ Escondido officer who died of cancer

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Escondido Police officer Brett Byler died Nov. 14, 2021 at age 32. Byler, a former Marine and member of the San Diego Police Department, was found with a brain tumor last year and was going through chemotherapy to battle cancer. (Escondido Police Department photo)

SAN DIEGO – Escondido police Officer Brett Byler was honored Tuesday with a funeral procession after he died this month following a nearly two-year battle with glioblastoma.

Last February, Byler was found with a 5.5-centimeter brain tumor that the department said had “grown and crossed the mid-line of his brain.” He had surgery within days to remove much of the tumor and continued to undergo chemotherapy for the parts of the tumor that remained.

In a release Tuesday, the department said Byler, who was 32, “fought courageously” through numerous treatments and soaked up as much time as he could with his family and loved ones.

Escondido police Chief Ed Varso called Byler “an outstanding police officer.”

“Brett will always be remembered for his love of police work and his phenomenal sense of humor,” Varso said. “In fact, during my last visit with Brett, he was still enjoying his time watching videos of vehicle pursuits. Brett LOVED being a cop!”

Biography information shared about Byler shows he joined the department in January 2016 after starting his career with the San Diego Police Department. He also served in the Marines and had a prior stop working at the U.S. Department of Defense.

Varso said Byler became a member of the Unmanned Aerial Systems Unit in 2017 and later was selected to be a school resource officer in September 2019.

Byler is survived by his wife, Mariah, and three daughters, Brynlee, Barrett and Bellamy.

Donations to aid the Byler family can be made online by clicking or tapping here.

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