Public Safety Memorial

The School of Criminal Justice Alumni Association has established this wall of remembrance to commemorate and honor our alumni who have made the ultimate sacrifice protecting their communities.

Our Fallen Heroes


Officer Daniel Duyst

Officer Daniel DuystOfficer Daniel C. Duyst was a nine-year veteran of the Grand Rapids (MI) Police Department when he was electrocuted on May 30, 1994. He was 37 years old. Officer Duyst was off duty at the time, and was in a boat on Spring Lake (Michigan) when he heard a woman calling for help for her husband, who was face down in the water. Officer Duyst dove from the boat in an attempt to rescue the man, not knowing that the water was electrified by faulty wiring from a nearby dock. Officer Duyst was killed instantly, as was the man he was trying to save.

Daniel Duyst graduated from the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 1980. After graduating from MSU, he was hired by the Mason (MI) Police Department as a police officer. He served five years with the Mason Police Department before gaining employment with the Grand Rapids Police Department, where he served as a patrol officer until the time of his passing. Officer Duyst is survived by his wife, Vicki, daughters, Heather and Tiffany, and his parents, Peter and Jo.

End of Watch – May 30, 1994

Officer James Johnson

Officer James JohnsonOfficer James Johnson had served with the East Lansing Police Department for 11 years when he was shot and killed inside an apartment while attempting to arrest a woman for auto theft. As he was struggling with the woman her male companion emerged from a bathroom and shot him in the back of the head. The two fled on foot to a nearby residence where they shot and killed the unsuspecting owner. While they were trying to steal the homeowner’s car police arrested them.

The man was convicted of first-degree murder and second-degree murder and sentenced to life without the possibility of parole. The woman was acquitted of Officer Johnson’s murder but was convicted of the homeowner’s murder and sentenced to life.

Officer Johnson was a proud husband and father who served his police agency and community at the highest professional level. He made the ultimate sacrifice while protecting the public, in accordance with his sworn oath of office.

End of Watch – October 25, 1984

Officer Bruce Russell

Officer Bruce RussellOfficer Bruce Russell was a one-year veteran of the Roseville (MN) Police Department when he was fatally wounded on May 16, 1982. He was 28 years old. Officer Russell was shot by a 36-year old convicted felon following a vehicle chase that started when Officer Russell observed the subject running a red light. The car the felon was driving was registered to his ex-wife, and Officer Russell was unaware the driver was wanted on felony warrants for escaping from a federal halfway house and might be dangerous. The subject lost control of his vehicle and stalled out in a ditch. Officer Russell then approached the vehicle and the subject opened fire on him with a handgun. Officer Russell’s protective vest stopped three shots, but the fourth round entered through the side panel under the armpit and struck Officer Russell’s heart. Although mortally wounded, Officer Russell returned fire on the subject and wounded him. After an extensive short manhunt, neighboring St. Paul Police Department officers arrested the subject. He was subsequently convicted of Officer Russell’s murder and later died in prison.

Russell graduated from the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1976. Bruce was President of the School of Criminal Justice student organization his senior year and was on the Dean’s List. He earned a brown belt certificate from the Judo Federation and an advanced diving certificate from the Professional Association of Diving Instructors. After graduating from MSU, Bruce was hired by the International Harvester Company in Fort Wayne, Indiana, and worked as security supervisor for the large security detail. After the Fort Wayne company’s operations closed down, Bruce pursued his lifelong dream and passion to become a law enforcement officer, and was subsequently hired by the Roseville (MN) Police Department in 1981 as a patrol officer. Bruce Russell is survived by his wife, Linda, and daughter, Melissa, as well as his parents and several members of his extended family.

End of Watch – May 16, 1982

Officer Mason Samborski

Officer Mason SamborskiOfficer Mason Samborski was a four-year veteran with the Oak Park (MI) Department of Public Safety. He was killed in the line of duty shortly after midnight on December 28, 2008. He was 28 years old. Officer Samborski was fatally shot by a 16-year-old male who was the subject of his police investigation following a traffic stop. The teenager was driving alone and without identification, so Officer Samborski gave him a break and transported him home. Upon arrival, Officer Samborski did not locate a parent and the youth fled on foot. Officer Samborski gave chase, caught up with the suspect and a struggle ensued. They both tumbled down a flight of stairs and Officer Samborski was injured in the fall. The juvenile obtained possession of Officer Samborski’s gun and fatally shot him in the head. The suspect was taken into police custody later that day. He was subsequently charged with 1st Degree Premeditated Murder, Murder of a Peace Officer, and two Felony Firearm charges. The teenager was tried as an adult, found guilty on all charges, and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Mason graduated from the Michigan State University School of Criminal Justice with a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2002. While at Michigan State, Mason served as a Cadet and P.A.C.E. Officer with the East Lansing Police Department. Mason graduated from the Police Academy at Kellogg Community College in 2004 and at the top of his class from the Fire Academy at Schoolcraft College in 2006. Mason was awarded POAM’s 2008 Officer of The Year, Oak Park Public Safety Department’s 2008 Employee of the Year, and the East Lansing Police Department Medal of Valor, and was honored by the Livingston County Red Cross as an “Everyday Hero.” Mason is survived by his wife and daughter, parents, siblings, nieces, nephew, in-laws, extended family, many dear friends, cohorts, and the fraternity of law enforcement professionals.

End of Watch – December 28, 2008

Trooper Caleb Starr

Caleb H. Starr was born on May 15th, 1987 to Alan and Deborah Starr. Both Alan and Deborah had grown up in the small town of Mason, Michigan and chose to raise their two children there as well. Caleb was described by many who knew him as a child as well-behaved and always willing to try something new. This desire to experience all life had to offer was illustrated by the laundry list of hobbies Caleb accumulated throughout the years from childhood to adulthood. Some of these activities included church, tennis, soccer, golf, swimming, photography, paintball, blacksmithing, and woodworking. However, Caleb also demonstrated at an early age the willingness to balance play with work by obtaining his first part time job at just 16 years old. Caleb continued to work a variety of part time jobs throughout high school and college that included GNC, OfficeMax, and Best Buy Geek Squad.

Following graduation from high school in 2006, Caleb attended Lansing Community College before transferring to Michigan State University where he studied Criminal Justice alongside his girlfriend (and future wife) Rachael. While at MSU, Caleb continued to work part time while attending classes as a full-time student in addition to completing an internship at a local police department and studying abroad in Australia as a part of the Australia: Its People, Government, Justice Systems, and Public Policies program.

In December 2010, Caleb graduated from Michigan State University with his Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice. Not long after graduation, Caleb proposed to his long-time girlfriend, Rachael, while cross-country skiing following a late winter storm. With plans of enrolling in a police academy put on hold due to law enforcement hiring freezes caused by the 2008/2009 financial crisis, Caleb accepted a job offer from Auto Owners Insurance Company in Columbus, Ohio where Rachael joined him upon their marriage in late 2011. Both Caleb and Rachael enjoyed living in the Columbus area but eventually decided to move back to their hometown of Mason in mid-2014 to be closer to their own families before starting a family of their own.

Upon their return to Michigan, Caleb continued to work for Auto-Owners Insurance while Rachael gained employment as a civilian with the Michigan State Police. In April 2015 they welcomed their first daughter, Evelyn, and in October 2017 they welcomed their second daughter, Rosalie. It was shortly before the birth of their second daughter that Caleb felt a renewed desire to achieve his original dream of working in law enforcement. Caleb expressed to his wife that he wanted to set an example for their daughters that it is never too late to change the path that you are on.

After many months of discussion and planning, with Rachael’s full support, Caleb was extended a job offer from the Michigan State Police and left his job at Auto Owners Insurance. In April 2019, Caleb graduated as a member of the 135th Trooper Recruit School and was assigned to the Lakeview Post near Ionia, Michigan. Here he served under the command of Lieutenant Chris Clute.

Caleb was stationed out of the Lakeview Post for roughly one-and-a-half years. His co-workers described him as intelligent, having a great sense of humor, advanced beyond his age, patient, wise, and humble. Lieutenant Clute described Caleb as an amazing trooper, refreshing to work with, and the best rookie he had ever seen.

Although Caleb was proud to have achieved his lifelong dream to become a Michigan State Police Trooper, he was even more proud to be a father and would often tease that if life circumstances had allowed, he may have preferred to be a stay-at-home father and husband. Caleb understood the value of a father figure in a child’s life and went out of his way to always be there for “his girls”. Whether it was reading books, coloring, playing board games, riding bikes, play-acting princess tea parties, or exploring local parks, Caleb made sure to be right there alongside them. On those days he worked, Caleb always stopped by their daycare to give them a hug and kiss goodbye despite an hour-long commute followed by a twelve-hour night shift. No matter how busy he was, Caleb always made sure to fill his family with joy and always never missed an opportunity to tell his family how much he loved them and appreciated them.

Trooper Caleb Starr was responding to non-emergency call on July 10th, 2020 when he was struck by a drunk driver. Trooper Starr passed on July 31st, 2020.

End of Watch – July 31, 2020


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