December 29, 2004 in Idaho

Wounded officer on force only for a few months

Taryn Brodwater Staff writer

How to help

Coeur d’Alene Police have set up a fund in Officer Michael Kralicek’s name at the Wells Fargo Bank on Appleway in Coeur d’Alene to help with medical expenses.

Michael Kralicek had only been with the Coeur d’Alene Police Department for a few months before a shooting early Tuesday left him critically wounded.

Kralicek was admired for his friendliness and strong work ethic and well-liked by his co-workers, said Chief Wendy Carpenter. “He was someone that always had a smile on his face.”

Kralicek, an officer in his mid-30s, was flown to Harborview Medical Center in Seattle about 7 a.m. Tuesday. That afternoon, he was listed in stable condition after surgery, according to police.

“We are very hopeful he will recover,” Carpenter said.

Coeur d’Alene car dealer Doug Parker provided his private jet to fly Kralicek’s family to Seattle. Washington State Patrol troopers met the family at the airport and drove them to the hospital. Kralicek is married with two daughters at home. The family lives in Hayden.

“They’re a very tight family, and they’re very strong,” Carpenter said.

The department had a debriefing Tuesday morning and made chaplains available for Kralicek’s colleagues. Two high-ranking officers flew to Seattle to be with Kralicek, and the department set up a fund in his name at Wells Fargo Bank on Appleway to help with medical expenses.

“Obviously, it’s a shock,” Carpenter said. “It’s something that we don’t ever want to face, but we always realize it’s a possibility.”

She couldn’t recall a shooting locally that left an officer as badly wounded as Kralicek.

“I’ve been here since 1977, and it’s not happened,” Carpenter said.

Kralicek was hired by the city in June. He came to Coeur d’Alene from North Bend, Ore., where he had worked since 2001. North Bend Police Chief Steve Scibelli described Kralicek as an excellent officer.

“He was a good investigator,” Scibelli said. “He was good with people. He was one of those officers that could do anything.”

While in North Bend, Kralicek was a patrol officer and headed the Police Explorers program, working with youths on community service activities. Scibelli said Kralicek had a great way with young people.

Before coming to the police department, Scibelli said Kralicek worked for Day Wireless. He had a side job working on radios, Scibelli said.

Kralicek left the department in good standing, Scibelli said. “We were sorry to see him go.”

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