By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers
TAYLOR – Those who worked with him will never forget Taylor Police Lt. Dan Kromer, and future officers going through training will do so in a building bearing his name.
City officials and police gathered May 9 to formally dedicate the Lt. Dan Kromer Police Education Center, as the former fire station on Pine Street is now known.
Kromer – a 20-year veteran of the Taylor Auxiliary Police – was struck and killed by a car in September 2010 while assisting a motorist on I-94. Kromer was the first auxiliary officer on the city’s force to have been killed in the line of duty, and his loss was all the more tragic having come within two months of the shooting that took the life of Officer Matthew Edwards.
Kromer was survived by his wife, Joyce, and children including son Joe – who spoke at the dedication while wearing his father’s badge – a member of the Inkster Auxiliary Police.
Police Chief Mary Sclabassi recalled a man who wanted to serve as a police officer his whole life, and of a department that never forgets those who served.
Earlier this month a candlelight vigil was held in honor of Edwards, under whose name a running event will be held in Heritage Park in July. A team of police officers will take part in this year’s Unity Tour bicycle ride in honor of both men.
The motorist charged in the hit-and-run death of Kromer, Nino Edward Delpiano, was sentenced in 2011 to a minimum of 45 years in prison. Along with a conviction for second-degree murder, Delpiano was found guilty of several charges including failure to use due care while passing an emergency vehicle causing death, the first conviction for that crime in Michigan.
Speakers at last week’s dedication included Mayor Rick Sollars and Auxiliary Chief John Burgan, who recalled Kromer’s love of family and community, and how he served as a mentor to young officers. In that spirit, the Education Center bearing his name will welcome the next generation of Taylor’s Finest.
(James Mitchell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.)