AUGUSTA, Mich. — Collin Rose had quite the smile. That’s what Richland Police Chief Jeff Mattioli said he’ll miss most. He had a big, bright smile and had the personality to match.
“Even when you got on Collin,” said Chief Mattloli staring at a picture of him. “This smile, it’d make you mad for a second and then you just had to smile.”
Chief Mattioli was holding a plaque of Collin given to him by the Wayne State University Police Department. The 29-year-old was patrolling campus last Tuesday when he was shot and killed. Thursday hundreds of officers from all over the country attended his funeral in Detroit. Friday, law enforcement officials in Kalamazoo county paid their respects at a memorial service held at St. Ann’s Catholic Church.
“It was very sad,” said Chief Mattioli. “It was beautiful recognizing his career and his drive as an officer and as a person.”
Chief Mattioli said he first met Collin years ago when he an intern at the station in Richland. He was still in high school at Gull Lake and was a computer whiz. But the more he hung around the officers, the more his interest in law enforcement grew. He said Collin was driven to succeed, even then.
“He literally had a rocket tied to him,” said Chief Mattioli. “He wanted to be married, he found a fiance. He wanted to be a cop, he became a cop. He wanted to move on to the Feds, he was well on his way.”
Collin studied law enforcement at Ferris State University and was one credit shy of getting his master’s degree in police administration at Wayne State before getting killed. He was promoted to sergeant after his death. He was set to marry his fiancé next October.
“Terrible tragedy,” said Augusta Police Chief Jeff Heppler. “We’ve been to far too many of these this year. It’s of great concern to our law enforcement community.”
Officers and local residents filled the pews at St. Ann’s. The church spoke of Collin’s bravery, commitment to his job and his love of dogs. The service ended with a 21-gun salute.
“The family is suffering greatly,” said Chief Mattioli. "Wayne State University Police Department, Richland Police Department, we have a special bond with him as do all officers. But it’s going to leave a hole."