Photo courtesy: M.J. Murawka / Wayne State University.
DETROIT (WJBK) - Hundreds of police officers and K-9's lined up at Ford Field on Wednesday to pay their respects to Wayne State Police Officer Collin Rose. At the front of the line was Rose's K-9 Wolverine who struggled to say goodbye to his best friend.
Rose was remembered Wednesday by K-9 officers and their four-legged partners at Ford Field. They gathered with bagpipes playing to pay their respects to the Sergeant who was gunned down the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.
Rose and Wolverine were both familiar with Ford Field - they're part of Ford Field's security team on gamedays. On Wednesday, it was Andy Grimm who led Wolverine to the casket for the first funeral to be held at Ford Field.
He was by Rose's side the night he was shot and on Wednesday, he tried to pull away as officer Grimm led him to the casket.
"He didn't even want to walk up to the casket so I tried to goad him up there and once I got him, he wouldn't face it so I just held him," Grimm said.
He held him so he could say goodbye to his friend. He was far from alone.
Law enforcement's K-9 community is a close knit group. Officers and their police dogs came from across the country to remember Rose, including Grand Blanc officer Paul Connelly and his German Shepherd patrol dog, Max.
"The K-9 family - it's different when you have a partner with you all the time and then you lose one of us - it's horrible. It's tough on the family - it's tough on the dogs obviously," Connelly said.
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It wasn't just law enforcement who showed their support. More than 100 students from Wayne State University were there as well, including Mister Whitfield and Zach Maurer, two students majoring in Criminal Justice.
"Being in criminal justice it's kind of a setback for all my peers who want to go into this profession," Whitfield said.
"He was an excellent officer - he really worked with Wayne State in general and everyone around the campus. I know a lot of my friends interacted with him. He was a really good bye and that's what we (get a criminal justice degree) for - we go to protect and serve," Maurer said.
That's exactly what Sgt. Rose was doing while on patrol in the Woodbridge neighborhood near Wayne State last Tuesday. He had his dogs Clyde and Wolverine in the car when he stopped a man on a bike.
That man has been identified as Deangelo Davis and is charged with shooting him in the head. Police are also looking for another man they believe may have witnessed the crime.
As for the law enforcement community, they're in mourning in the Motor City. Rose is the third officer who has died in the past 45 days in Detroit.
Police Chief James Craig was just at a shooting that involved two Detroit Police officers on Wednesday.
"They don't know if they're going to go home to their families - they make the ultimate sacrifice and we should never forget that - because anytime you attack a police officer - is an attack on all of us and we need to stand as one voice - and denounce this kind of behavior," Craig said.
Rose was promoted posthumously Tuesday evening during a vigil at Wayne State University. Wayne State police Chief Anthony Holt also awarded Rose a citation for valor, the highest honor awarded by the department. Only three people have been given this distinction since the department was created in 1966. Rose was also named head of the Wayne State K9 Unit. University President M. Roy Wilson also announced a $25,000 endowed scholarship is being created in Rose's name.
Rose's funeral Mass is planned for Thursday morning at St. Joan of Arc Catholic Church in St. Clair Shores.
The family has asked for donations to be made in his name to the Detroit Dog Rescue.