LANSING — The portion of Interstate 96 that runs through Howell would be designated the “Officer Mason James Samborski Memorial Highway” if state Rep. Robert Wittenberg’s (D-Huntington Woods) House Bill 5664 is passed into law. Officer Samborski lived in Howell while working for the city of Oak Park.

“We talk a lot about community policing, and what we can do to attract people to the police force who feel called to serve their community. Officer Mason Samborski was exactly the kind of person anyone would want to have in uniform: brave, compassionate and dedicated,” Rep. Wittenberg said. “Sadly, he made the ultimate sacrifice, leaving behind a wife, a young daughter, a grieving family and his brothers and sisters on the police force. But he is not forgotten. Designating I-96 through the city where he lived will be a tribute to his memory, and to his life of service.”

In December 2008, Officer Samborski, who was 28, stopped a teenager who was driving without a license. Rather than arrest him, Samborski offered to drive him home and speak to a relative. But when they reached his home, the teenager attacked Samborski, obtained his gun and shot him in the head, killing him.

“It’s always tragic when a police officer or firefighter is lost in the line of duty, but Officer Samborski’s loss seems especially senseless, as he was just trying to help,” Rep. Wittenberg said. “We owe Officer Samborski and his family more thanks than we can ever give, and designating a section of highway in his honor doesn’t come close to fulfilling our debt to him, but it is a reminder of our appreciation of all that he did.”