LANSING, Mich., Nov. 30, 2021 — Today, state Rep. Julie M. Rogers (D-Kalamazoo) introduced House Bill 5585 to designate a portion of highway U.S.-131 in Kalamazoo County as the “Sergeant Ryan J. Proxmire Memorial Highway.” On Aug. 15, Kalamazoo County Deputy Sheriff Ryan J. Proxmire made the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty when he succumbed to a gunshot wound that he sustained the previous night while involved in a vehicle pursuit. For his actions and his leadership, he was posthumously promoted to the rank of sergeant on Aug. 16.
“The Kalamazoo County community and the entire state of Michigan are forever indebted for the bravery and service of Sgt. Proxmire,” Rogers said. “While nothing can ever truly express our grief and gratitude for his sacrifice, we want to honor his memory for years to come by establishing this memorial highway in his name.”
Proxmire began his service with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office on May 2, 2012. He started as a court security deputy, advanced to corrections deputy and filled a temporary sergeant role. He was then transferred from the jail division to the operations division to serve Kalamazoo County as a road patrol officer.
During his nine years with the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office, he was a key contributor to the order and justice that distinguish our country from most of the world. With respect for the law and a strong personal sense of duty, Proxmire met the unique challenges of police work with conscientiousness and diligence, even when confronted with sides of life most people would hope never to see. Despite these pressures, he remained devoted to the highest standards of excellence. His colleagues praised him as a positive member of the team who showed incredible leadership skills.
“The women and men of the Kalamazoo County Sheriff’s Office are honored to have served with Sergeant Ryan Proxmire,” said Kalamazoo County Sheriff Richard Fuller. “His family, friends and community lost him in a senseless act. We will never forget him or his sacrifice. Naming a section of highway for Ryan in the county he served will help remind anyone seeing the signs that there are everyday heroes working hard to protect them and keep them safe.”