By Michael Gresham
The Texas Catholic
Nine years ago, Officer Michael Krol arrived in Dallas to pursue his lifelong dream of becoming a police officer.
“He was living his dream of being a police officer,” said his mother Susan Ehlke, in a statement released July 8, one day after her son was one of five Dallas officers killed by a sniper following a demonstration in downtown Dallas. “He knew the danger of the job, but he never shied away from his duty as a police officer.”
Krol, 40, grew up in Michigan, where he had worked security at a hospital and had served as a deputy at the Wayne County jail.
“He was a great caring person and wanted to help people,” Ehlke said in her statement, adding that he was “a wonderful son, brother, uncle, nephew and friend.”
Krol’s uncle Jim Ehlke told NBC affiliate WDIV in Michigan that his nephew’s desire to become a police officer is what led him to Texas.
“He got into law enforcement and worked really hard to be a police officer. He spent some time at the correctional facility. It wasn’t quite what he was looking for, so he worked pretty hard to find a job and got one in Dallas,” Ehlke said. “He was all in; he was all in.”
Krol graduated from the Dallas Police Academy in 2008. At the time of his death, he was a member of the Dallas Police Department’s Southwest Division.
Sgt. Ivan Gunter, a parishioner of St. Elizabeth of Hungary Catholic Church in Oak Cliff, serves as a supervisor in Krol’s unit, which lost three of its officers that night.
“It’s hard. We lost three good people, and you can’t replace that. To have people taken away from you, especially a unit that is tight like ours, it’s rough,” he said.
The police sergeant recalled Krol as kind and devoted.
“He was one of the sweetest guys you ever wanted to meet,” Sgt. Gunter said. “He was always bound and determined to do his best work.”
Sgt. Gunter said Krol was the type of person who would let his actions speak for him.
“He wasn’t your typical police officer. He wasn’t a loud guy. He wasn’t a flashy guy. He had a quiet rhythm about him,” he said. “I could see his concern. I could see his heart. He really cared, not just about the job, but he truly cared about this community.”
Dallas police Officer Andrew Gregorich called Krol “a great friend.”
“We had many great times and shared many laughs together,” said Gregorich, speaking to a crowd of thousands during a candlelight vigil at Dallas City Hall on July 11. “I always knew that if I needed someone to be there, he would come.”
Gregorich recalled frequent visits to Sundance Square in Fort Worth with Krol.
“He loved to eat at Reata’s and hang out in Sundance Square,” Gregorich said, adding that Krol recently moved to Fort Worth to be within walking distance of his favorite spots. “Every time I drive to Fort Worth, I’ll think of the 15-minute walk we would make to Sundance Square. I will never forget.
“We will miss you, but we will never forget.”