Micah Schieber and his mom, Sarah, were preparing to send out invitations to his upcoming high school graduation party. In addition to family and friends, Micah had a few more names he wanted to add to the list.
“Mom, do you think we could invite the police department?”
Sarah told Inside Edition the request took her by surprise. “I kind of stopped in my tracks, and I looked at him, and said, ‘You mean the whole police department?'”
When Micah was just 6-years-old, his father, a respected member of the Michigan Midland Police Department, passed away while running a marathon. His wife Sarah was competing with her husband until around mile five, when Chad kissed her and ran ahead, saying he’d meet her at the finish. That was the last time Sarah saw her husband alive. “I always joke that when I get to heaven, I’m going to whack him because he got the wrong finish line.” A massive heart attack fueled by an undiagnosed medical condition ending Chad’s life far too soon.
While Sarah is able to joke about the experience now, she says the pain was nearly too much for her to bear at the time. “In a heartbeat, I became a 33-year-old widow with three babies.”
For the next several years, Sarah focused on her children, often spending nights together in her king size bed. She would wake to find Micah’s head laying on her chest. “He knew at 6 years old that his daddy’s heart had stopped beating. He was laying there listening to my heartbeat. I know it.”
Now 18 and graduating high school, Micah wanted officers from his dad’s former department to not only fill the void left by his father’s death but also to thank them for their service. Sarah sent off an invitation to Chad’s former boss, Midland Police Chief Cliff Block. Weeks passed without a response. Sarah tried to brace her son for the possibility that on Father’s Day weekend, many officers would likely be too busy to attend.
On the day of the party as guest were arriving, Micah watched in awe as a line of police cars came toward his house. With lights flashing and sirens blaring, 18 police vehicles slowly came parading down the street, leaving Micah “in complete awe and speechlessness.”
“It was car after car after car after car. I just kinda sat there in shock.” After it all sank in, Micah greeted the 18 uniformed officers who took time on a busy Friday evening to come share his special day. “He said, ‘I want you to know I realize you guys get a lot of bad press … but I want you to know that just to me and my family, you mean a lot to us and we appreciate you,'” recalled his proud mother. Micah even made gift bags in hopes the officers would attend.
While Micah only has a few memories of his father, the one thing he says he remembers most is “We were always side-by-side, doing things together.”
As for Chad’s time on the force, Micah recalls “His motto was that if you ever arrested someone and they’re in the back of your squad car, you know that’s one of the lowest times of their life. And so instead of treating ’em like a criminal, you treat ’em like a person.”
His goal now is to learn more about his father’s work life. “It’s important to me because people talk about my dad with such high respect that I want to be just like him.”
Perhaps the police academy is seeking a new recruit?