OAKLAND COUNTY, Mich. (Michigan News Source) – On Saturday, June 22nd, Deputy Bradley Reckling, a 30-year-old Oakland County sheriff’s deputy and a nine-year veteran of the department, was tragically killed in the line of duty during an ambush while pursuing suspects in a stolen vehicle. Reckling, a dedicated detective and beloved family man, left behind his pregnant wife Jacqueline and their three young daughters, with another child on the way.

Tragic loss in the line of duty.

During the incident, the driver of the stolen vehicle allegedly opened fire on Reckling as he approached. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office quickly apprehended three suspects in connection with the crime. Reckling was described by his colleagues as a diligent and passionate detective, someone who truly embodied the spirit of public service. Sheriff Michael Bouchard expressed his deep sorrow, highlighting the significant impact Reckling had on the department and the community.

Tunnel to Towers Foundation steps in.

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In the wake of this devastating loss, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has stepped in to offer financial support to the grieving family. The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office has confirmed that the foundation, which honors fallen first responders by paying off their mortgages, has pledged to cover the Reckling family’s home loan for the soon-to-be mother of four, including six-year-old Alyana, four-year-old Isabella and 1.5-year-old Scarlett.

A family’s heartbreak and tribute.

At her husband’s funeral, the officer’s wife Jacqueline, heartbroken, spoke of her husband as the family’s rock, a man who was everything good and exceptional. She recounted his selflessness and devotion, not just to his job, but to his family, saying, “He loved being a detective, and he was a great detective for all those reasons. But he loved being a dad more, and he was the best dad to our girls… He taught so much to our girls, and they looked up to him so much. They wanted to be just like him. And they deserve so much more time with him.”

Community support and fundraising efforts.

The community has rallied around the Reckling family, with a GoFundMe page raising substantial funds to support them, currently up to almost $300K with many organizations and individuals contributing, reflecting the widespread impact Reckling had on those who knew him.

The Oakland County Sheriff’s Office and other law enforcement agencies have also provided emotional and logistical support to the family during this difficult time.

A somber farewell.

Thousands of mourners, including law enforcement officers from across the region, gathered on Friday, June 28th, to pay their respects at Reckling’s funeral. The service was marked by a poignant

display of solidarity and honor, with bagpipes, a 21-gun salute, and a final helicopter flyover symbolizing the end of a dedicated life.

Second officer’s family also gets relief.

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In another heartfelt act of generosity, the Tunnel to Towers Foundation has also committed to paying off the mortgage of slain Hillsdale County Sheriff Deputy Bill Butler. Trevor Tamsen, a representative of the organization, confirmed the news to 6 News, stating that CEO Frank Siller personally reached out to the Butler family to convey the Foundation’s decision.

“We will have an official announcement when the mortgage is paid in full,” Tamsen shared via email. The organization’s “Fallen First Responder Home Program” is specifically designed to support the families of first responders who have lost their lives in the line of duty by relieving them of their mortgage burdens.

Deputy Butler tragically lost his life on June 27th during a routine traffic stop when Eric Michael Fiddler, a passenger with outstanding warrants, pulled out a gun and fatally shot him. The incident occurred in Hillsdale County, and Fiddler was later killed by police after a subsequent confrontation.

Butler, a veteran and devoted family man, left behind a grieving wife and five children. His funeral on July 3th was a poignant reminder of his dedication and heroism, with many recalling him as a “rugged, engaging and caring man,” “family man,” and “American hero.”

There is also a GoFundMe fundraiser for Butler but it hasn’t gotten the same exposure as Reckling’s site and has only collected a little over $10K.

A beacon of hope amidst tragedy.

The Tunnel to Towers Foundation’s mortgage assistance to the families of these police officers has provided some relief to their families, ensuring that the widows and their children can remain in their homes.

These acts of kindness, made possible by generous donors of the organization, highlights the importance of supporting the families of fallen heroes, who face unimaginable challenges in the wake of their loss. Jacqueline’s message to the public is a reminder of the humanity of police officers, who, like everyone else, simply want to return home to their families at the end of the day.