Toledo Police Honor Guard to Stand Guard Over Fallen Hero's Casket

The TPD Honor Guard will stand watch over Dressel's casket.
The TPD Honor Guard will stand watch over Dressel's casket.

TEMPERANCE, MICHIGAN -- Imagine spending close to a half hour at a time, standing at attention, not allowing emotion to show through, knowing someone close to you died in the line of duty and is about to be laid to rest. That's the difficult challenge facing the Toledo Police Honor Guard unit over the next three days.

Detective Keith Dressel was shot and killed Wednesday after a confrontation in north Toledo.  Police say Dressel and two other undercover officers confronted 15-year-old Robert Jobe and 19-year-old Sherman Powell on Ontario Street around 2:00am.  Jobe and Powell ran, and when Dressel caught up to Jobe, police say Jobe pulled a .38 caliber Smith & Wesson and fired once, hitting Dressel in the chest.

The other two officers tackled Powell and took him into custody.  Jobe ran from the scene, then turned himself in shortly after 11:00am that same day.  Both Jobe and Powell are in jail, awaiting further court action.

Thousands of police officers are expected to converge for Dressel's funeral at Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church.  After the service, they will form a long procession to St. Anthony Cemetery.  Toledo Police will lead the procession and will be in charge of the funeral service and burial.

On the surface it appears to be simple, standing at attention. However, it's anything but, and for officers with the Toledo Police Honor Guard this weekend, they'll be standing by their fallen brother.  "It's kind of a tough job in that there's a lot of standing, a lot of emotions, but we're not allowed to really show those emotions," said Officer Al Cavanaugh, the training officer for the Honor Guard.

During visitation hours on Saturday and Sunday, it'll be one officer on each side of the casket for 20 minute intervals, and the same during the funeral service on Monday.  "Our emotions are so high and this is where training comes in, to hold back your emotions as best as possible," said Officer Keith Carr, a member of the Honor Guard.  "I don't know if we're going to be able to do it."

For Carr, this will be the most challenging funeral over his 10 years with the TPD Honor Guard.  "I was a partner with Officer Dressel for a while and the stories are just going through your mind constantly and through the emotions, the laughter, the sadness, this is an officer that we all worked with," said Carr.

The task will be over when the Honor Guard presents a U.S. flag to Officer Dressel's family during a gravesite ceremony. A comforting thought for these officers, they won't be alone.  "There'll be honor guards from all over the country here. Anywhere from 3,000 to 5,000 people, law enforcement officers," said Cavanaugh.

Count on News 11 for complete coverage of Detective Dressel's funeral on Monday.

Posted by AEB