Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer Michael L. Draeger

Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Saturday, December 28, 1974

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Reflections for Police Officer Michael L. Draeger

Grandpa Mike,

I would be your second grandson to carry on the Draeger name. I have heard my entire life that you would have been so proud of my brother and I, though I will never know it firsthand. I trust everyone that has ever told me this, but without you here, I would be lying if I said I didn't occasionally wonder. I try to live my life in a way that makes my father proud, and that I think would make you proud as well.

I am currently in a police academy in Michigan. Less than twenty minutes ago as we closed out our first block of instruction on Emergency Vehicle Operations, I shared your story with my fellow cadets. I wanted to impress upon them the very real consequences of the decisions they make as officers. It can not only affect them, and everyone around them, but generations of their families to come.

I don't know how you would feel about your son or grandsons carrying on the law enforcement tradition. But no matter what you would have felt, I hope you would have been proud all the same. Because I feel very fortunate that I am able to continue the tradition of service to the community. I am 26 years old, the same age as you at the time of your passing. I may have taken a detour to law enforcement via military service, but I knew I would end up in law enforcement if I was still able bodied when that time came. And at 26, I still have a lot of years left to offer my fellow man. The same years that you would have had to offer. I'll carry the torch from here and will do my utmost to fill the shoes you left behind.

I'll see you when I see you.

Cadet Draeger
GTBPD / Grandson

June 14, 2022

Dear friend Michael,
I am writing this after the passing of your marvelous father, Howard, knowing that you helped him transition from this life to the next. The pain of your loss is still with me, but I'm grateful to have had you in my life. What a joy you and your family was to mine while we lived in West Milwaukee, and when you would visit us up in Wabeno. My brother Gerry and I treasure our relationship with your mother, and will continue to take care of her as she grieves for this fresh loss.

You were gone too soon, but you left a huge legacy in your actions and your descendants. You are not only remembered, but still loved. Bless you.

BJ Ermenc
Family friend

August 14, 2017

The promise... Always honored, never forgotten.

Sgt. T. J. Jones.
Greater Cleveland Transit Police Department, Ohio

December 28, 2014

While you were taken from us too soon, you obviously lived long enough to pass a tradition of service to your children, who have now transferred it to their children.

I wonder how many Greenfield officers had to reach for handkerchiefs as they watched the video of your grandson anonymously donating $10.03 to that department. He did you great honor that day.
I wish you could have lived long enough to have known Max and that he could have known you.

Gail DeGeorge

September 21, 2013

Dear Officer Draeger,

With ten dollars and three cents, and with the heart and character of his grandfather, your grandson Max made every police officer, past and present, proud beyond explanation with his most meaningful donation to the Greenfield Police Department. Max's donation and leadership will go a long way to help protect citizens and keep police officers safe.

What a way to honor your memory and heroic service. You must be beaming with pride!!

God bless you and your family.

Police Officer
New York

September 17, 2013

I just read a story about your grandson making a donation to his local PD in the memory of you and 9-11-01 and I wanted to read your story. Your grandson is a wonderful young man and very kind hearted to do something like that at such a young age. What your grandson did has touched many lives and is very inspiring to all. As a father of 4 boys it brought a smile to my face and a sense of pride for his family.

I also read where your son followed in your footsteps and is a Deputy. Your legacy of sacrifice, community and high character has been passed along to your son and daughter, as well as their children. I am sure you are smiling down on them and are so proud.

Thank you and may the Good Lord continue to watch over and bless your family.

R.K. #1491
Plano Police Department, Plano texas

September 17, 2013

Mike: I will remember you always. You were my only brother-in-law for the longest time. Your children are beautiful - just like you - friendly, warm, brilliant and funny. Bridget is a teacher with a beautiful family of 2 sons and a wonderful husband. Mark Steven has a beautiful wife and they also have 2 sons. All four of the boys remind me of you. You are truly missed. Bill and I will always be there for your children. Our children have become very close cousins. You would be SO proud! We love you and miss you Mike. You are thought of often!

Maureen (Mo) Koch-Regner/Bill Regner

August 8, 2012

Rest in God's loving embrace, hero. You will never be forgotten.

Wisconsin L.E.O.

August 7, 2012

Thank you for yuor service Sir, RIP

James Kotke
Civilian / Former Officer
WSF Park Police (Wi.)

April 18, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 37th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

I pray for solace for all those who love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. I hold your family in my heart's embrace today. I am sure you are proud that your son continued your legacy of protecting and serving.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

December 28, 2011

As my career's end is coming closer, I decided to check and find those who had lost their lives during the year that I was hired. While it's been many years since your passing, I'm sure those you left behind and those whom with you served with distinction have kept you alive in their memories. Thank you for your service and for looking out for us who continue in our chosen profession. Rest in peace Officer Draeger.

Sgt. Robert Mau Sr.
PD Joliet IL

December 22, 2008

As my career's end is coming closer, I decided to check and find those who had lost their lives during the year that I was hired. While it's been many years since your passing, I'm sure those you left behind and those whom with you served with distinction have kept you alive in their memories. Thank you for your service and for looking out for us who continue in our chosen profession. Rest in peace Officer Draeger.

Sgt. Robert Mau Sr.
PD Joliet IL

December 22, 2008

You may be gone, but you will NEVER be forgotten.


October 11, 2008

Well Dad,
Today I spoke at the Greater Milwaukee Law Enforcement Ceremony in your memory . I just wanted to share with you some of what I said.
My dad is Michael Leonard Draeger. He died on December 28th 1974 from burns he received one month earlier when his squad car caught fire following an accident. He was 26 years old. He left behind a wife and two children. My brother was 4. I was 2. I didn’t get a chance to know my dad like a little girl should but I know I was the apple of his eye.
All my life I’ve searched for something to tie myself to my dad. I’ve finally realized that I don’t have to keep searching. It doesn’t matter if I act like him, or even look like him. I am my father’s daughter and I carry that with me every day.
I love you dad and I think of you every day!

Bridget Siepert

May 14, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

February 22, 2008



December 27, 2007

Rest in peace, Sir! You are not forgotten.

Police Officer

November 10, 2006

I Graduated from the L.A.P.D. academy on 11-18-1974, the day of your accident. Having the same last name and my Father (L.A.P.D. retired sergeant 1974) who grew up in Wisconsin are sure we would have been friends. Best wishes to your son and Grand-children. I know we will meet you some day.

Police Officer Steven Draeger
Los Angeles Police Department

November 9, 2006



A Mom in Pennsylvania

December 28, 2005

Dad, you were a great father to us and a great friend to all. Though I was only 4, I remember you very well and everywhere I go, people say great things about you. I named your first born grandson after you and all four of your grandsons are doing well. Your memory lives on through them. Sorry, but after all these years, I finally joined the ranks. Probably not what you may have wanted, but I'm happy keeping the tradition. "I'll see ya when I see ya." Love your son,Mark

Deputy Mark S.Draeger
Grand Traverse Co. Sheriff Office

December 27, 2005

I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies....

Rest in peace, hero. God bless.

October 14, 2004

I was your partner the night of the accident.
I tell our story every year at the COPS seminars. Because of you I help other co-workers. You are not forgoten.

Ret.P.O. Patrick Monaghan
Milwaukee Police Dept.

May 20, 2004

Rest in peace brother
You're gone but not forgotten.

Walworth Co SO

December 19, 2003

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