Kalamazoo Cop Weds Couple Before Starting His Shift

PHOTO: Officer Joe Paul started his shift on Friday by performing a wedding ceremony for Dean Lauer and Carrie Stull.Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety
Officer Joe Paul started his shift on Friday by performing a wedding ceremony for Dean Lauer and Carrie Stull.

When Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety Officer Joe Paul reported for work on Friday afternoon, he was asked to do something out of the ordinary: perform a wedding.

The Kalamazoo couple –- Dean Lauer and Carrie Stull -– had shown up to the county’s courthouse to get married but found it shut due to a snowstorm.

The couple, who had family from out of the area with them, went next door to the public safety department to regroup.

They got to talking, and officers found out that their wedding plans had been stymied. Someone mentioned that Paul, who has nearly eight years with the department, was licensed to perform civil ceremonies in Michigan.

“We arranged to have a quick ceremony for them in our chief’s conference room,” Paul said in an interview with ABC News on Sunday. “It was not what I expected when I came in, but we’re certainly happy to help."

Paul said it went well, although he admitted he was a little nervous. Although he’s been licensed to officiate at civil ceremonies since last year, the Lauers’ was the very first one he’s ever performed.

He said he became registered in order to officiate at the wedding of some friends but they made other arrangements and he ended up not doing it after all.

While he’s seen many unusual things in his time with the department, he said this was the most “nontraditional” service he’s been asked to offer.

“Now that it’s out there we might have some more, I don’t know,” he said.

ABC News couldn’t reach the newlyweds, but, in a post on her Facebook page, the new Ms. Lauer indicated that they had planned to be in Las Vegas for their honeymoon.

In an interview with WOODTV.com, the Lauers said they’d had their first date on Jan. 10 during a snowstorm six years ago and so wanted to have their wedding on the same weekend of that anniversary.