Toledo police Sgt. Mike “Kopper” Koperski has an entire department mourning his death that occurred at his home early Saturday. He was 47.
He suffered from rare degenerative disease, Creutzfeld-Jakob Disease, which affects the brain and is incurable.
Mr. Koperski was a 24-year veteran of the Toledo Police Department. He was hired in 1993 and promoted to sergeant in 2012, according to Toledo Police Chief George Kral, who announced Mr. Koperski’s death Saturday morning on Twitter.
His wife, Danielle, said on Sunday: “He was simply a good man. He was a steady man. And he was a fantastic father to his two sons.
“His family was always his priority. And as a husband, he was my best friend. He was quick with a smile. He was very generous. He had an enormous heart,” she said.
Chief Kral said, “He was a stand-up sergeant who had what’s best for citizens, his fellow officers, and for the police department always on his mind. He treated everybody with respect, even if they were going to jail.
“I never heard him speak ill of anyone,” the chief said. “He always had a smile on his face and he was a pleasure to work with.”
Dozens of friends, family, and community members Friday started posting pictures on Twitter under the hashtag #SmileKoperski and on a Facebook page titled, “Make an officer smile!”
“The entire TPD family is mourning the loss of Sergeant Michael Koperski,” Chief Kral wrote Saturday on the TPD’s Facebook page. “He was not only a great sergeant; he was a great father, husband, and friend.
“The outpouring of support in yesterday’s #smilekoperski social media campaign shows how many people Mike touched, not just in the department, but also in this community. We will make sure Mike is never forgotten and will ensure his family is taken care of for years to come,” he wrote.
Mr. Koperski was born Oct. 15, 1969 in Toledo into the family of Richard and Mary Ann Koperski. He graduated from Central Catholic High School in 1988.
He later continued his education at the University of Toledo, where he studied for a few years until he joined the police department. He later returned to college graduating about 2013 with a bachelor’s degree.
Mr. Koperski was preceded in death by his mother.
Surviving are his wife of nearly 17 years, the former Danielle Clody; sons, Michael and Joseph; father, Richard Koperski; sister, Deborah Marciniak; and brothers, Richard Koperski and David Koperski.
Arrangements have not been made yet.
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