- The Washington Times - Tuesday, January 16, 2007

BALTIMORE — Detective Troy Chesley leaves behind five children, but he was a father figure to many others, mourners were told at funeral services yesterday for the slain Baltimore police officer.

Shemala Bell described her cousin as a “truly blessed soldier,” and Maj. Jesse Oden, who served with Detective Chesley in 2001 and later became his supervisor, described him as the “ultimate team player.”

“Troy treated all strangers he encountered with the same kindness and respect he showed to his family and friends,” Maj. Oden said, struggling to maintain composure.

The detective was fatally shot shortly after he got off work at 1 a.m. Jan. 9. Police charged Brandon Grimes, 21, who has a criminal record including at least 17 arrests, with first-degree murder.

Grimes and Detective Chesley, 34, exchanged gunfire in front of the officer’s girlfriend’s home, and Grimes was badly wounded in the leg, police said. Investigators tracked him to St. Agnes Hospital, where he was being treated. Authorities said there was no indication that Grimes knew Detective Chesley was a police officer, and it appears he acted alone.

Maj. Oden noted that Detective Chesley was one of the few officers able to successfully infiltrate drug gangs at the Gilmore public-housing complex, which “is now a safer place to live.”

Mayor Martin O’Malley said neighbors told him that Detective Chesley “ran our neighborhood.”

“And they meant it in a good way. He looked after his neighbors; he was his brother’s keeper,” said Mr. O’Malley, who will be sworn in today as governor.

Slowly counting off Grimes’ 17 arrests as the mourners urged him on, Mr. O’Malley said it was not right that a person with such a record “should be allowed to take one of ours from us.”

Before Mr. O’Malley spoke, police officers saluted as they filed past the open casket at New Shiloh Baptist Church. A gospel choir sang standards that had many in the overflowing church clapping and tapping their feet. Later, as the coffin was closed, many were brought to tears along with the officer’s family.

The 13-year-veteran was assigned to work in public housing.

Detective Chesley’s death was the latest killing in a city that has recorded an upswing in violence early this year. He was the 10th homicide victim in the first nine days of the year.

Officer Osborne Robinson, who was in the same cadet class, said Detective Chesley was a “true and tried friend, not just to those in blue but those in his family and in his community.”

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