‘The world lost an amazing human’: Hundreds attend funeral for CT state police Sgt. Brian Mohl

HARTFORD — In a solemn ceremony, hundreds of law enforcement members from across the country paid their respects to Connecticut state police Sgt. Brian Mohl, who was killed last week when he was swept away in floodwaters of Ida.

A 26-year veteran, Mohl served in troops across western Connecticut, impacting thousands of lives from fellow troopers to residents, state police Col. Stavros Mellakas said.

“Brian was extremely intelligent, witty and had a friendly sense of humor. He was well-liked by everyone who knew him. While at work, Brian often spoke fondly of his wife and family. As a state police sergeant and supervisor for our troopers for over 20 years, he could be counted on to get the job done,” said Mellakas, the commanding officer of state police who once served with Mohl at Troop L in Litchfield.

Mohl’s commitment to his family and his state police colleagues was in focus as they spoke of the dedication to a career that he used to support those closest to him.

“To know Brian is to know sacrifice, Brian gave up countless hours of sleep to not only serve his community but also to his family and his friends. ... He worked so that others could live their lives to the fullest and to follow their dreams,” the trooper’s younger sister, Laura Mohl Singh, said.

Sgt. Corey Craft, Mohl’s friend of three decades, described how the two would banter back and forth. “It really could have been a good reality TV show,” said Craft, whose stories about Mohl repeatedly drew murmurs of laughter from those assembled.

Soon after Mohl bought a home in Danbury, Craft said he began parking in his friend’s driveway, making it “his office.” This drew Mohl’s aggravation, which delighted Craft.

“This began to annoy him, which made my day even better,” Craft recalled. One day, he said, Mohl told him “if you’re going to be here so much, why don’t you pay rent?”

To Craft, that was “an invitation.” He and a few other state troopers showed up with a U-Haul and moved Craft into Mohl’s house, waking him from his sleep in the process.

“The reason I bring this up is while I was there, I saw an amazing Mohl family,” said Craft, who recalled being invited to family barbecues by Mohl’s parents.

Family and friends recalled the 50-year-old trooper for his profane nicknames, the cryptic text messages he would send, and his seemingly endless love for Costco.

“I hope they’re represented here today,” said Gary Williams, who was part of the 105th training troop alongside Mohl at the Connecticut State Police Academy. “He will be sorely missed by that company”

If you didn’t know Mohl, “you’d think he was a cranky old man,” Williams said. But, “no matter how he tried to mask it behind the grumpy exterior, Brian loved us,” he said.

“The world lost an amazing human, not just an amazing trooper,” Craft said. “Mohl gave 27 years to the state of Connecticut, he gave his family and friends so much more.”

Mohl was died last week while working the midnight shift at Troop L in Litchfield as Ida slammed Connecticut with historic rainfall and severe flooding. Police said Mohl reported around 3:30 a.m. Sept. 2 that he was caught in fast-rising waters near Jacks Bridge Road in Woodbury, state police officials said.

A massive response ensued, and despite pinging the trooper’s cellphone, his state police vehicle was not found until after daybreak when the water started to recede. About an hour later, authorities found Mohl’s body in the nearby river. He was flown to Yale New Haven Hospital, where he was pronounced dead, officials said.

Mohl is among 25 state police troopers who have been killed in the line of duty since the agency was formed in 1903.

Mohl is survived by his wife and 14-year-old son, Brian, along with a step-son and step-daughter and three grandchildren. He is also survived by his parents, George and Frances Mohl, of Hopewell Junction, N.Y., three brothers and two sisters, and many other family members, according to his obituary.

“Brian truly had a big heart,” said Frances Gordon, the trooper’s other sister.

Law enforcement was a dream for Mohl and his two brothers, who serve in the New York State Police, his sister said.

“I cannot think of a better way for Brian to leave us, serving and protecting the public,” Gordon said.

A procession of troopers fired a 21-gun salute on a rain-soaked field outside the Hartford theater on Thursday. As the ceremony ended, a last call went out for Mohl on the police radio.

“Your brothers and sisters will take the watch from here,” it said.