BRIDGEPORT - The family of a Bridgeport security officer who unexpectedly died last week spoke publicly for the time Thursday about the positive impact he had on several generations of students.

Family and friends met with Bridgeport Mayor Joe Ganim to remember 45-year-old Garrett Bynum Jr. His title may have been security officer at Bassick High School, but he is best-remembered as a mentor and role model to young people.

Bynum's sister Felicia says he had just celebrated his 20th anniversary with the Bridgeport Public Schools when he suffered a diabetes-related heart attack, leaving a powerful legacy behind him.

"He served a very good purpose here in Bridgeport," says Sheriff Steve Nelson, who served as a mentor to Bynum. "He was a well-respected, well-liked young man in the school system."

Friend Kingsley Osei says Bynum had a magnetic personality that made students feel comfortable seeking advice from him.

Bynum's family says the public is invited to attend his viewing at Morton's Mortuary in Bridgeport from 6-8 p.m. Friday. His funeral is scheduled for 9 a.m. Saturday at the First Baptist Church in Stratford.