New Era Police Sgt. Mike Grillo passes away.

December 21, 2021

Sgt. Grillo

New Era Police Sgt. Mike Grillo passes away.

By Allison Scarbrough, Editor.

NEW ERA — New Era Police Sgt. Mike Grillo, 65, died Monday, Dec. 20, of complications from COVID-19, said New Era Police Chief Roy Strait.

Grillo had worked for the New Era Police Department for five years. 

“He was my Santa for the Roy’s Kids program,” said Chief Strait about the charitable program that provides toys and meals at Christmas time for less fortunate children and families in Oceana County. “He was just a super guy. It’s a shock.”

Strait said Grillo had been suffering from cancer and was undergoing treatments at Michigan Medicine in Ann Arbor. Despite his cancer diagnosis, Grillo was still working a few days a week for New Era PD.

Just a month ago, the sergeant was assisting with the funeral procession for the late Pentwater Fire Chief Paul Smith. “The next day, he called me and said, ‘I can’t work for a few days. I’ve been exposed to COVID.’” A few days later, he texted Strait to tell him that he and his wife Patti were on their way to the hospital. He texted, “‘I’ve got COVID real bad.’”

Grillo, who lived in Grand Haven, died at North Ottawa Community Hospital, according to Klaassen Family Funeral Home, which is handling arrangements.

Grillo was a father and grandfather, said Strait. One of his sons is a police captain in the Lansing area.

He retired from the Grand Haven Police Department and also worked for the Muskegon County Sheriff’s Office for many years, Strait said. 

Grillo also played the Santa Claus role for New Era Village and was active in the Michigan Concerns of Police Survivors (MI-COPS) organization, said the chief. He was a firefighter and a residential builder.

Grillo served as a police officer for 43 years.

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