Wednesday, Apr 25, 2018
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Thousands expected to attend funeral marked by pomp, precision

A procession of uniformed officers and officials that stretched at least a half-mile wound through the streets of West Toledo 36 1/2 years ago during the last funeral ceremony for a Toledo police officer slain on duty.

More than 1,500 friends and fellow officers attended the September, 1970, funeral for Officer William Miscannon, including representatives of police organizations from Columbus, Cleveland, Detroit, Chicago, and other regional cities.

Those planning the funeral Monday for Toledo police vice Detective Keith Dressel - who was fatally shot Wednesday morning in a scuffle - are expecting an even larger crowd: 3,000 to 5,000 law enforcement officers, dignitaries, and family.

"Expect officers from all over the state and surrounding states," said Sgt. Karen Sue Martensen, commanding officer of Toledo Police Department's Honor Guard.

Gov. Ted Strickland is among the dignitaries who have confirmed they will attend, Sergeant Martensen said.

The crowds at funerals for fallen officers, she said, "can be very, very big," easily drawing over 1,000 people.

Sergeant Martensen said the services for Detective Dressel could be particularly well-attended because of his ties to both Ohio and Michigan.

The 35-year-old husband and father was born and raised in Ottawa Lake, Mich., before graduating from St. Francis de Sales High School in 1989.

A funeral Mass is scheduled for 11 a.m. Monday in Our Lady of Mount Carmel Catholic Church, 8830 Lewis Ave., Temperance.

The Rev. Daniel Nusbaum, the church pastor and one of Detective Dressel's cousins, will be leading the services at the family's request.

Father Nusbaum said that about 1,000 visitors can be seated inside the church, with priority given to Dressel family members and close friends, and to high-ranking public officials.

The church can accommodate an additional 2,500 visitors in its parish hall and gymnasium, where the services will be broadcast over closed-circuit television on equipment provided by WNWO-TV, NBC Channel 24.

Two days of visitation are scheduled from noon to 8 p.m. tomorrow and Sunday at the Bedford Funeral Chapel, 8300 Lewis Ave., Temperance, to accommodate the thousands of expected visitors.

There will be a Scripture service at 7 p.m. Sunday in the funeral home.

An hour before the funeral Monday morning, a private prayer service will be held at the funeral home for Detective Dressel's family. This small service will be the last viewing before his casket will be closed.

Members of the Toledo Police Department's Honor Guard will stand vigil during visitation hours and will render a final salute Monday morning as the detective's casket is draped with the U.S. flag, Sergeant Martensen said.

The coffin will then be moved from the funeral home into a hearse, which will be led by the honor guard to the church just a short distance away across a parking lot.

The six pallbearers handling the casket will be family members and close friends. Honorary pallbearers could include Detective Dressel's fellow officers.

There will be bagpipes and drums at the church, and later at the grave site, played by members of the Toledo Fire Department and Lucas County Sheriff's Office with guest bagpipe units from other areas of Ohio, Sergeant Martensen said.

A lone bagpiper will play "Going Home" at the conclusion of the Mass before the casket is carried from the church and placed back inside the hearse.

A procession of patrol cars from Michigan, Ohio, and beyond will then accompany the hearse as it travels the approximately 3 miles from the church to the grave site at St. Anthony Cemetery, located near the intersection of West Erie and Douglas roads, Temperance.

At the cemetery, a riderless horse with empty riding boots reversed in its stirrups will be led past the grave site by a member of the Toledo police mounted patrol.

After the horse has cleared, there will be flyovers by the Toledo department's Air One helicopter and a medical helicopter, Sergeant Martensen said. The police helicopter will "bow" by hovering and dipping its front end.

Final prayers will be said, and there will be 21 shotgun firings in three volleys by seven members of the Toledo police department's directed patrol unit, followed by a playing of "Taps" by a bugler or trumpeter yet to be determined, Sergeant Martensen said.

The funeral ceremony will conclude after members of the Toledo honor guard fold the flag draped across Detective Dressel's casket into a triangle.

The honor guard will present the flag to Sergeant Martensen, who presents it to Police Chief Mike Navarre. The chief will hand the flag to Detective Dressel's widow, Danielle Dressel.

After the ceremony, the brass shell casings from the salute volley will be folded into Mrs. Dressel's flag, which they will return to her inside a triangular walnut-and-glass display case as a gift from the honor guard, Sergeant Martensen said.

A private banquet reception after the funeral for family members and police officers will be held at the Erie Street Market in downtown Toledo and is being organized by the Toledo Police Patrolman's Association.

Dan Wagner, the association's president, said many area organizations and businesses have generously donated food for the reception, which is expected to serve up to 2,000 people.

Contact JC Reindl at: or


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