Hundreds step out to pay final respects to police chief during 'Last Patrol'

Hundreds step out to pay final respects to police chief during 'Last Patrol'

Northern Michigan said goodbye Monday to a man who spent much of his life serving his community.

Elk Rapids Police Chief, Tom Emerson died suddenly earlier this month from a brain aneurysm.

It was an emotional morning and afternoon during the services for Chief Emerson, which began with a massive procession that involved more than 100 police and fire vehicles and personnel from all over the state.

Chief Emerson's final patrol began in downtown Traverse City, and worked it's way up to Elk Rapids, where the Elk Rapids Fire Department sounded their alarm as Chief Emerson and his family passed through.

Hundreds of community members, coworkers, and students lined the streets to pay their respects.

"A person like Tom gave all," said Rafael Medina, a fellow firefighter with the Elk Rapids Fire Department. "It's fantastic that everybody's acknowledging that."

Chief Emerson served with the Grand Traverse Sheriff's Office for 26 years before retiring as a captain in 2010.

He then made his way on to become Chief of the Elk Rapids Police Department, and also served as a firefighter for the Grand Traverse Rural Fire Departments and the Elk Rapids Fire Department.

The Chief's last patrol ended at New Hope Community Church.

Men and women in uniform solemnly looked on as the Chief's urn was carried inside, with his loving family following close behind.

After the service, Grand Traverse County and Antrim County Central Dispatch issued Chief Emerson's last call.

"He will be gone, but he will not be forgotten," the dispatcher said. "Chief Emerson is out of service. Rest in peace."

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