Category Archives: Clark County

Funeral of Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper

I just wanted to write a note about today’s events. I know it’s long, but it’s worth the read.It was an exhausting day, physically but more so emotionally.

I arrived at the Miami Township Police Department and was greeted my Major DiPietro. I went to the mall with Sgt. Nienhaus and we gathered there as a group before leaving. Met up with Mike Siney over there. We had somewhere around 75 cars there from various departments all over. I was already starting to feel honored just being in these people’s presence. A group of cops grieving and doing a mission of honor for a sister, and I was allowed to come along for the ride.

When we met up at the Navistar plant, only then did I realize the enormity of the support among her brothers and sisters in blue, most of who she never met or knew. Cops from all over the state. Later I’d find out, all over the country. We left there at 9:45 and took over an hour to get to the church, just a few miles away. Here is where the community support began to be noticed. Small children waving from car windows parked along the route. Businesses “Closed to Honor Deputy Hopper”. Veterans standing at attention saluting the procession. And hundreds of people waving at us from the side of the road.

Once we arrived at the church, to see the sea of officers in support of Deputy Hopper. Here is where I saw officers from the Chicago Police, Yonkers NY Police, Maryland and the Kentucky State police. The enormity of the moment began to set in on me. The first tears came here. Sheriff Kelly spoke magnificently, and did her son, and husband.

We waited outside to begin out journey to the cemetery. I talked to some of the guys from Huber Heights and Trotwood. Good to see familiar faces at such an event. Sitting in the parking lot in a sea of cars with lights flashing as the casket was brought out and as we followed one by one was a very moving experience. I can’t explain it to you. Watching the video won’t even give you the full affect. It took more than 2 hours to get to the cemetery. The route was lined with all sorts of folks out in the cold and snow holding up signs of support for the officers. The most moving part is the graveside ceremony. I was surrounded by a sea of blue.And felt the shot from the guns on the salute. And cried as the bagpipes played amazing grace.

I never knew (or met as far as I know) Deputy Hopper.But she knew about me. You know that from my previous note. But this was closer to me. She was one of my officers. Her loss caused some pain to me. Not like that experienced by family or the Clark County Sheriff’s Office. I can’t explain it to you. I can’t tell you how it feels. But these guys are my guys. And alot of the officers in the crowd had read emails from me. They wouldn’t recognize me, but they are my officers too. Pastor Pat has talked about Ministry in such a way that you have ownership over a city. That you feel it’s pain and that you hear it cry to you at night. These officers are that to me. I see them, hear them and feel the pain and sometimes frustration they feel. And when you stand and walk among them, it’s an indescribable feeling.

So I was taken back by the awesomeness of what I saw and felt today. It was good to see the support of a community, but why can’t they see that everyday, without the grief and loss? I also pray that I will never have to see it again. Their jobs are painful enough at times. Lets pray that they be spared form the grief again.

My thoughts – Clark County LOD – Deputy Sheriff Suzanne Hopper

Today is a dark day in the Miami Valley, particularly for Clark County. The CCSO had not lost an officer in the Line of Duty (LOD) since 1978. And this one was shot while TAKING A PICTURE OF A FOOTPRINT. I did not know her. Some of you reading this note may have. I’ve heard it say that she was a fine person, and a fine officer. Now, we have another taken from us. Officers across the Miami Valley (and Nationwide) are grieving tonight. Taken, doing what she loved, and taken protecting the citizens of Clark County. I’ve never been a cop. So I can’t tell you how it feels to have someone you know and talk to cut down in their prime my someone who doesn’t have the decency to fight fair, but shoots her in the back.

I’ve seen the Thin Blue Line in action…and closer than alot of people. I’ve heard the complaints, and witnessed what some of you do at traffic stops. And I’ve watched how they sometimes vent to (or sometimes at) each other. What the patrol thinks about “the brass”. I’ve seen why that officer in the rain looks angry as you try to drive around her patrol car. You may hear/seen that too. But I also know some of the WHY. Why do they think that way? Why is that cop so mad when you try to go around her car? The bottom line…they just want to go home safe. They just want to see their spouse, kids or parents after a long shift. They just want to make it through the day without having the hassle of giving you a ticket. And NO, they really do not want to give you a ticket. They would much rather you drive safely.

She died with no one there who loved her. No one in the last few minutes to utter her last words to. And it happens alot more than it should (161 deaths in 2010).

But this one is especially close to me. The Clark County Sheriff’s Office was one of the first local agencies to believe in me and my mission to support officers and firefighters. I did not know her, but she kew something about me. She read my note on the holidays. She knew that Dr. Mike was there. And that someone gave a darn that she was out there. On the holidays, in the rain, in the snow, in the cold, in the hot summer sun, after tornadoes. In court on days off, working odd shifts to cover for sick co-workers. Someone cared that she was giving up time with her family to protect countless other families.

So I stand up for them. That’s what I do. And I’ll do it until the day that I die. And if that’s not acceptable to you, then you can feel free to ignore, avoid or unfriend me. That’s your choice. But I’m going to stand up for them.