Hundreds salute ‘hero’ Dallas cop at funeral
Redford Township — They came from the other side of the country and from precincts all over Michigan.
Their police cruisers and motorcycles lined a street under a giant U.S. flag hoisted by two fire trucks.
And, with bagpipes playing, they marched single file into a tan brick church to bid goodbye to a comrade.
It was homecoming time Tuesday for Michael Krol, 40, a Michigan native who was one of five Dallas police officers killed during a protest earlier this month.
Hundreds of officers filled St. Robert Bellarmine Catholic Church for Krol’s funeral, spilling out into hallways and other rooms.
“He died doing what he loved to do and what was in his heart, which was to protect and serve others,” said Detroit Officer Derrick Knox.
It wasn’t just Krol’s brothers and sisters in blue who came to pay their respects.
Local residents didn’t know Krol but said they appreciated what he did for a living.
The residents, some holding flags and posters, lined the route from the church to Holy Sepulchre Catholic Cemetery in Southfield.
“Every day, they get up and protect us,” said Marge Gault, whose niece and nephew are police officers in Livonia.
Members of Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors, who have lost a loved one in the line of duty, passed out blue ribbons.
Krol, who hailed from Redford Township, moved to Dallas in 2007 to become a police officer.
On Tuesday, 100 officers from Dallas followed him back to Michigan for the sad farewell.
Among the local law enforcement present was Detroit police Chief James Craig.
Craig said his department gave the Dallas police a gift, which he didn’t identify, while Dallas gave Detroit its police department coin and patch.
“It says we are one,” said Craig. “You touch one, you touch all. We stand with Dallas.”
Also attending were Michigan dignitaries such as Lt. Gov. Brian Calley.
During these turbulent times, it was important for people to take every chance to thank law enforcement officers for what they do, said Calley. “We want to stand with them and be there to show support for the family and show support to the officer and say, ‘I’m with you,’ ” he said.
Krol grew up loving sports, especially basketball, said friends.
He worked at the Wayne County Jail from 2002-07.
Carla Garnes said Krol and her son were part of a group that did everything together.
She described the officer as pleasant and easygoing, and always had a smile on his face.
“We can only imagine what a selfless policeman he became, someone who could only help in a big way the people he served,” she said.
Nicole Gregory of Redford Township brought her two sons, carrying a “Blue Lives Matter RIP Officer Krol” sign to see the officers. “We want to show our support to the family and the policemen that protect us every day,” she said.
Bill Nagle, whose daughter was a Hazel Park officer, said he doesn’t understand what’s happening in the country these days.
“It used to be if an officer said stop, you’d stop,” he said. “If an officer said put your hands up, you’d put your hands up.”