GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Community members and law enforcement officers gathered at Richmond Park on Grand Rapids’ West Side Thursday for the dedication of a memorial to the city’s fallen police officers.
The memorial was unveiled for the first time during the ceremony. On the front is the photo of Grand Rapids Police Department Officer Robert Kozminski and on the other side are the names all 15 fallen GRPD officers.
Kozminski was killed in the line of duty in July 2007 while responding to a domestic dispute. His partner escorted the Kozminski family to the memorial so they could leave behind a rose in his memory.
Kozminski’s father, also named Robert Kozminski, broke down as he spoke at the dedication.
“Thank you to the whole Grand Rapids Police Department. You’ve been so kind and loving to my family. You’re like a second family. Thanks to all of the officers and all the people who work at the Grand Rapids Police Department. Thank you so very much,” he said.
During the ceremony, the names of 31 officers who are from Grand Rapids and died in the line of duty or died while serving in GRPD were read aloud and roses were placed at the memorial for each of them. Officer Jonathan Ginka of the Norton Shores Police Department, who was killed in a car crash while on duty early Wednesday, was also mentioned.
The memorial has been in the works for about a year and a half. Fundraisers brought in $75,000 to pay for it and a scholarship in Kozminski’s name. That scholarship will go to one year of tuition at Grand Rapids Community College for a student who hopes to work in law enforcement. Kozminski’s parents choose the recipient of that scholarship.
Donations may still be made online.
Next week is National Police Memorial Week.