GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — A police officer who bravely gave his life while on duty in Grand Rapids 10 years ago was honored at Richmond Park on Thursday along with several other officers who made the same sacrifice.
The ceremony was in honor of Police Memorial Day, which falls on May 15. During the service they paid tribute to 29-year-old Robert Kozminski, who was killed in 2007.
Officer Kozminski was shot in the head while responding to a domestic disturbance call. He was ambushed by the suspect, who was eventually convicted of first-degree murder and given a life sentence with no possibility of parole.
Kozminski was a 7-year veteran of the department and left behind a daughter, who was just 3 years old at the time.
Thursday, his family got see the unveiling of a special memorial for him at Richmond Park, which features his photo along with the names of more than a dozen other Grand Rapids Officers who died in the line of duty.
Fellow law enforcement members also remembered several other officers who gave their lives, laying down a rose in their honor. Officials read the names of other local police officers as well, like Eric Zapata in Kalamazoo, Officer Trevor Slot in Walker and Officer Jonathan Ginka, who just died in Norton Shores Wednesday.
This afternoon, Kozminski family said the Ginkas are in their thoughts during this tough time.
“This memorial should remind all of us that all the men and women in Grand Rapids Police Department and law enforcement everywhere that when they go to work every day and every night, at any given second they might have to put their lives on the line for us,” said Kozminski’s father. “Thank you to the whole Grand Rapids Police Department. You’ve been so kind and loving to our whole family. You are like a second family. Thank you to all the officer and people who work for the Grand Rapids Police Department.”
That memorial was made possible thanks to several volunteers, donors and vendors. The Kozminski family also started a memorial scholarship that is awarded to a student of the Grand Rapids Community College whose career goal it is to be in law enforcement and attend the police academy.