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  • GRPD FALLEN HEROS
    May 09, 2019

    GEORGE POWERS

    Detective Powers was shot and killed while attempting to arrest two suspected train robbers. 
    Detective Powers and two other detectives had gone to the Union Train Depot on Bridge Street to find two suspected train robbers. Detective Powers located the men in a train preparing to leave. When Detective Powers went to pull the bell cord on the train to alert the other Detective that he had located the suspects, one of them drew a concealed gun and shot Detective Powers, killing him.
    The next day police shot and killed one of the suspects in McBain. One of the detectives who was with Detective Powers identified the suspect as being the one who killed Detective Powers.

    Detective Powers was survived by his wife and two children.

    HENRY SLATER

    Patrolman Slater died of injuries he received when he was struck by a rail car while sitting on his post at Bridge and Canal Streets. Patrolman Slater was struck by a rail car that had not switched tracks properly. Patrolman Slater was dragged into the wheels of the rail car where he was trapped. He was instrumental in his own rescue as he directed the men that freed him. After his rescue, he was taken to the hospital where he later died from his injuries.
    Patrolman Slater was survived by his wife and six children.
    Patrolman Slater's brother, a Detective with the Grand Rapids Police Department, was shot and killed in the line of duty 14 years later.

    MILLARD F. DAVIS

    Patrolman Davis died from injuries he received the previous day when he was stuck by a car while directing traffic at the intersection of Cherry Street and Diamond Street SE.

    CHARLES I. DEYOUNG

    Patrolman DeYoung was killed when his motorcycle was stuck head on by a truck. Patrolman DeYoung was on his was to traffic court at the time of the accident.
    Patrolman DeYoung was survived by his wife.

    GEORGE GENG

    Patrolman Geng died from injuries he received the previous day when his motorcycle struck a truck as he tried to catch up with a speeding vehicle.
    Patrolman Geng had been a member of the Grand Rapids Police Department for just two months. He was survived by his wife and two children.


    GEORGE BRANDSMA

    Special Officer Brandsma and Detective Samuel Slater were shot and killed after responding to a house to arrest suspect bank robbers. Detective Slater and Officer Brandsma were acting on a tip that said two suspected bank robbers were at a house on Weaver Street SE. The tip was thought to be false by Detective Slater since so many tips had been false throughout the day. Detective Slater elected to take just one officer, Officer Brandsma, to assist him. 
    As the officers arrived at the home of the tipster, who lived across from the suspect's home, the suspects saw them and turned out all the lights. The two officers watched the home for a short time, and then decided to go knock on the door. 
    As the two officers were walking up the sidewalk leading to the door of the suspect's home, shots rang out. Detective Slater was shot through the door. 
    Officer Brandsma rushed the door and forced his way into the home but was shot several times when be entered the home and was killed instantly. Detective Slater staggered back to the tipster's home where he collapsed. He was brought to the hospital by responding officers and died two days later.
    Officer Brandsma was survived by his wife and five children.

    SAMUEL SLATER

    Detective Slater and Special Officer George Brandsma were shot and killed after responding to a house to arrest suspect bank robbers. Detective Slater and Officer Brandsma were acting on a tip that said two suspected bank robbers were at a house on Weaver Street SE. The tip was thought to be false by Detective Slater since so many tips had been false throughout the day. Detective Slater elected to take just one officer, Officer Brandsma, to assist him. 
    As the officers arrived at the home of the tipster, who lived across from the suspect's home, the suspects saw them and turned out all the lights. The two officers watched the home for a short time, and then decided to go knock on the door. 
    As the two officers were walking up the sidewalk leading to the door of the suspect's home, shots rang out. Detective Slater was shot through the door. 
    Officer Brandsma rushed the door and forced his way into the home but was shot several times when be entered the home and was killed instantly. Detective Slater staggered back to the tipster's home where he collapsed. He was brought to the hospital by responding officers and died two days later.
    Detective Slater was murdered on his 54th birthday. He was survived by his wife and three children.
    14 years earlier, Detective Slater's brother, Patrolman Henry Slater, also of the Grand Rapids Police Department was killed after being struck by a train while standing on his post.

    JOHN MEIBOOM

    Patrolman Meiboom was killed when his police motorcycle was struck by a truck on Godfrey Avenue just outside of the city limits. He had just completed a traffic stop and was returning into the city when a truck veered into his lane of traffic and struck him. Patrolman Meiboom was transported to St. Mary's Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries 20 minutes later.
    Patrolman Meiboom was assigned to the 3rd Precinct Station and was survived by his wife.

    FRANCIS M. GALLUP

    Patrolman Gallup was killed in a motorcycle accident while working a traffic detail. His motorcycle was struck by a vehicle at McReynolds Street and 5th Street, NW, and he was thrown into another car.
    Patrolman Gallup had been with the agency for less than one year and was survived by his wife and 11-day-old daughter.

    STANLEY VAN TUINEN

    Sergeant Van Tuinen was shot and killed while he and other officers attempted to arrest a man wanted for a shooting at a local bar. After negotiations failed Sergeant Van Tuinen was about to enter the residence when the suspect opened fire with a shotgun, fatally wounding Sergeant Van Tuinen. The suspect was shot by other officers as he attempted to flee out of the rear of the house.
    The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison on June 9, 1967. He died in prison on July 30, 1988.
    Sergeant Van Tuinen was survived by his wife and six children. His brother and brother-in-law were Grand Rapids police officers.

    WAYNE VONK

    Police Officer Wayne Vonk was shot and killed when he stopped two armed robbery suspects at the intersection of 4th Street and Stocking Avenue.
    While on patrol a store owner flagged him down and informed him that he had just been robbed. He provided Officer Vonk with a description of the suspects and direction they fled. Officer Vonk gave chase and caught up to the vehicle. The passenger exited the vehicle as it stopped and approached Officer Vonk with a pistol.
    Officer Vonk drew his weapon as he struck the suspect. During the ensuing struggle Officer Vonk was shot and mortally wounded. He was able to return to his patrol car and call for help.
    The suspects fled the scene but were apprehended minutes later. Both suspects were sentenced to life.
    Officer Vonk had served with the Grand Rapids Police Department for one year. He is survived by his mother, sister, and brother.

    HERMAN REINHOLD GLOE

    Police Officer Herman Gloe was shot and killed after responding to a burglary alarm at a jewelry store on Pearl Street, NW.
    When he arrived at the scene he discovered that the front door had been forced open and he entered the store to investigate. He encountered a man with a .22 caliber handgun and exchanged shots. Both men were struck and Officer Gloe was mortally wounded. Another officer arrived at the scene and ordered the man to drop the gun and then shot the suspect when he refused to drop the gun.
    The suspect fled the store but died from his wounds a short time later.
    Officer Gloe was survived by his wife and three children.

    JOSEPH FLOYD TAYLOR

    Officer Taylor was shot and killed while he and other officers searched a home for a murder suspect. As he was searching the upstairs he was ambushed by the suspect from behind a door. The suspect shot Officer Taylor twice and then surrendered to other officers. 
    The suspect was convicted of two counts of first degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole.
    Officer Taylor had served with the agency for 6 years and was assigned to the Burglary Unit. He was survived by his wife, parents, and three siblings.

    DANIEL CRAIG DUYST

    Officer Duyst was killed after being electrocuted when he jumped into water which had an electric charge in it. He was off duty on a family outing at Spring Lake when another man jumped off a pier into water which had an electric charge due to an electrical cord which had come in contact with the water. When Officer Duyst saw the man calling for help he dove off of his boat in an attempt to rescue the man but was also electrocuted.
    Officer Duyst was survived by his wife and two daughters.

    ROBERT ANTHONY KOZMINSKI

    Officer Bobby Kozminski was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance at a home on Emerald Avenue NE at approximately 1:40 am.

    Officer Kozminski responded to a call of a man with a gun threatening to shoot others at the location. Shortly after arriving at the location, he was shot when he went to the rear of the residence to establish a perimeter. Unknown to the officer, the suspect was lying in wait in the garage at the rear of the residence. From that location, the suspect ambushed Officer Kozminski, shooting him in the head with a shotgun round through the glass of the closed garage door. Another officer fired one shot but did not hit the suspect.
    Other officers were able to reach Officer Kozminski and carried him to a police cruiser. He was taken to Spectrum Health Butterworth Hospital where he died from his wounds.
    The suspect was taken into custody and charged with murder. He was subsequently convicted of first degree murder in March 2008 and sentenced to life in prison with no parole.
    Officer Kozminski had served with the Grand Rapids Police Department for 7 years. He is survived by a three-year-old daughter, parents, and six siblings.




    Page Last Updated: May 09, 2019 (08:24:00)
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