POMPTON LAKES — A veteran police officer working a fill-in shift died early Wednesday morning when his motorcycle struck a deer.

Peter Kamper Jr., a 13-year member of the local police department, was identified as the officer killed in a crash in Wayne at approximately 12:05 a.m.

According to NJ.com, Kamper hit the deer while he was driving home from work, crossing from Pompton Lakes into Wayne.

"He stood 6'6" and might have intimidated someone who was not familiar with him," the department's statement on Facebook said. "But after speaking with him for a few minutes you could see that he was a gentle giant whose heart was as big as his frame."

During his time with the department, Kamper was the head firearms instructor, an instructor for the Junior Police Academy, and also the department's IT specialist. In addition to being a police officer, he was also a member of the Pompton Lakes-Riverdale First Aid Squad.

"He was the person you could call in the middle of the night when the computers or radios stopped working," the department said. "He would be at the police department within minutes and did it because he wanted to make your life easier."

Kamper was the son of former Wayne police Sgt. Peter Kamper.

Kamper is survived by his wife Christine, his parents Wendy and Peter, and his brother Mike.

The department said officers were "truly devastated and heartbroken."

"Words cannot begin to describe the grief and pain that we are currently experiencing."

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