Fallen Hero Honored: Oakland County Deputy Brad Reckling laid to rest

It was a somber atmosphere Friday as loved ones, community members, and law enforcement officers from across the country gathered to honor the life and sacrifice of Oakland County Sheriff’s Deputy Brad Reckling, who was tragically killed in the line of duty.

Reckling, a member of the OCSO's stolen vehicle unit, was shot and killed last weekend in Detroit. He was behind an SUV that had been stolen in Madison Heights in the area of Schoenherr and Park Grove streets on Detroit's east side late Saturday when the vehicle suddenly stopped and people got out. The suspects started shooting, hitting Reckling in the head and chest. Two other detectives who were nearby in their own vehicles were not hit.

Funeral services were held for the 30-year-old deputy, remembered for his dedication to the community and his family, including his role as a loving husband and father to three little girls, with a fourth child on the way.

Vern Pixley from Pixley Funeral Homes noted the extraordinary support among the police community during such trying times.

"The police community is so supportive of one another. They never want to have to do this. But when they do, they just come out in force to show support for one another and take care of the family," said Pixley.

Deputy Reckling's end of watch came on June 22, following an ambush while he was trailing a stolen vehicle on Detroit’s east side. In connection with the case, 18-year-old Karim Moore has been charged with lying to a police officer and resisting arrest. Two other suspects are currently in custody.

Pastor Steve Warman of Apostolic Church shared the outpouring of empathy felt within the walls of the church where the memorial was held.

"The family is definitely feeling the love and support. There’s a lot of support inside that building right now," Pastor Warman said.

An American flag draped over Deputy Reckling's casket served as a poignant symbol of the sacrifice he made in the line of duty. Outside the church, rows of police cars and motorcycles lined up in solemn procession, as officers entered the church to pay their respects.

Steve Dolunt, a retried Detroit Assistant Police Chief, expressed the deep sorrow and concern that grips fellow officers.

"It hurts. You’re angry but you’re hurt. You’re worried for your family. My grandson is on the job, I just talked with somebody whose daughter is on the job, and they worry constantly 'is my family gonna be next.' And you wonder, 'am I gonna be next?'" said Dolunt.

Deputy Reckling is being remembered as a man who cared deeply for his community, a sentiment echoed by those he served.

"I think they want him to be remembered as somebody who would do anything for you. As a loving husband and father and someone who cared deeply for his community," said Dolunt.

The community invites those who wish to offer support to Deputy Reckling’s family to contribute through online donation platforms, including a GoFundMe campaign and the Mission Oakland charitable initiative.

Donate to Mission Oakland here.

Bradley Reckling and his family (Photo: OCSO)