Family, friends, police pay respects to slain officer Michael Krol
Redford Township — U.S. flags waved and red, white and blue lights blinked atop police cruisers as mourners drove into the parking lot of a funeral home Monday to pay their respects to Dallas Police officer Michael Krol.
Family, friends and fellow officers showed their support for the family of the former Redford Township resident, one of five Dallas officers killed by a gunman July 7 during a Black Lives Matter rally. Some visitors carried single blue roses.
“My heart hurts for (the family),” Dorothy Wright of Southfield said. “The officers were innocent people just protecting the protesters.”
Krol, 40, was shot amidst demonstrations over the deaths of two men at the hands of police officers. Another seven officers were injured in Dallas that night.
He lived in Redford in the early 2000s and worked in Wayne County jails from 2003 to 2007 for the sheriff’s office.
Wayne County Deputy Michael Babe worked with Krol when he lived in Michigan.
“He was an all-around great guy,” Babe said. “He just wanted to be a cop.”
About 25 members of the Detroit Police Department walked single file into the funeral home. Other departments at the visitation were River Rouge, Westland, Redford, the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office and Dallas police.
Laura Zain, who volunteers for the Wayne County Sheriff’s Office, did not know Krol but went to the mortuary to pay her respects.
“I think it’s amazing that they brought him back here to be laid to rest,” Zain said. “It’s so great to see the community come together for this. Just to see the Dallas police officers here is amazing. And this violence has to stop.”
Krol graduated from East Long Meadow High School in Massachusetts in 1994, according to his obituary. Krol received his criminal justice degree from Wayne County Community College in Detroit and then went on to work for the sheriff’s office.
Krol left for Dallas in 2007 to pursue his dream of becoming a police officer. Upon graduating from the police academy, he joined the Dallas Police Department and served for nine years.
Dawn Zachariah attended the police academy in Dallas with Krol.
“It was tragic,” Zachariah said. “The world is changing, for sure.”
Kelli Smith of Willis, Krol’s cousin, said she wished she had gotten to know him better.
“You never think something like this could happen to someone you know,” Smith said. “I’m sure he was a great police officer.”
Krol is survived by his mother, Susan Ehlke; his father, Frank Joseph Krol Jr.; his sisters, Heather Stacey and Amie Schoenbaechler and his brother, Joe Krol.
A funeral Mass for Krol will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Tuesday at St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church in Redford.