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Nov 30 / Peter Lichtenberg

The Death of One of Our Protectors: A Community Grieves


Officer Collin Rose, WSU

I was out to dinner with a close friend and colleague right before Thanksgiving, when word came across the Wayne State alert system that an officer had been shot. Twenty-nine-year-old Officer Collin Rose was shot while on duty, patrolling off campus.

Our campus is one of the safest in the nation because our trained police force, so highly skilled (each a college graduate and most with master’s degrees), does community policing; policing around a 3-mile perimeter of the campus. Only one other time had an officer been shot—in the leg—36 years ago.

The day after the shooting Officer Rose died from the gunshot wound to his head. Acute grief surrounds us, and this week there will be a candlelight vigil, a public viewing and a funeral. Grief will continue for those close to him. When doing research on my own grief, I discovered that grief is often the most difficult when it is sudden, and viewed as preventable. My heart aches for those in his private and work life, and especially our Chief of Police, who will grieve Officer Rose and his shortened life.