Officer Kozminski laid to rest
By The Staff Of 24 Hour News 8
Wood TV8
GRAND RAPIDS -- Thousands of mourners filed into St. Anthony of Padua Catholic Church Friday morning for Officer Bob Kozminski's funeral.

Officer Kozminski was shot to death July 8 while responding to a domestic distrubance call.

More than 100 police departments from the United States and one from Glasgow, Scotland were among the people who came to pay their respects to the slain GRPD officer.

On Thursday Gov. Jennifer Granholm personally paid her respects to the family.

Bishop Walter Hurley and Fr. Mark Przybysz officiated at the Mass, which began after police officers filed past the casket inside the packed church for more than 90 minutes.

"We'll never see him again," said Chief Harry Dolan of the Grand Rapids Police Department. "He died doing what we love doing everyday."

Hundreds lined the streets, some standing for hours, but when the motorcade finally passed by, there was no wavering of devotion. For one hour, while the cars, buses and motorcycles went by, neighbors stood, waved their flags and shed tears.

"I am just so thankful for these people who put their life on the line for citizens," said procession watcher Barbara Stringer, "and just put their life on the line for others."

Candy Growl's brother-in-law was a police officer who was killed 15 years ago. She said people become police officers because they have a real need to serve and protect.

Along the motorcade, the crowd was quiet, mostly holding their hands over their hearts or snapping a solemn salute.

A solemn ceremony at the gravesite at Holy Cross Cemetery included bagpipes, a color guard, and the presentation of the American flag from Chief Harry Dolan to the Kozminski family. His brothers and sisters in blue carefully blanketed his coffin with their white gloves.


The Grand Rapids Police Department cleared to mourn their fallen brother thanks to the support of other agencies.

"It's an honor. It's also very difficult for us to perform well without emotion. We're trying to keep it together in a very difficult time," said Grand Rapids Sergeant Larry Poleski.

Chief Vern Snyder of Grandville took over as watch commander, as other departments chip in to keep the city safe.

"We are prepared. We have a full contingency of officers," said Captain Vanderkooi of GRPD.

Kozminski grew up on the west side of Grand Rapids, and you don't have to look far to find someone whose life has been touched by him.

At Ball Park Floral, more than 30 flower arrangements have been made in his honor. Co-owner Krinn Vander Sloot wants to add "a little extra to make sure everything is nice for the family," she said. "His aunt is my nanny."

At the Family Fare on Lake Michigan Drive, where Bob Kozminski's mother works, donations for his family are collected in a jar. At nearby Holy Spirit Catholic Church, parishioners are doing helping with the music at the funeral an preparing food for the post-funeral luncheon.

"On the west side of town we try to help each other with support and encouragement," said Fr. John Vallier from Holy Spirit, "and any simple things we can do that goes around comes back to you if you're charitable."
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