Category Archives: Trotwood

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.

What is up with Mike and police? – From Facebook

Some of you have wondered and some of you have asked me. What are the postings? Are you an officer? What’s the importance of it? Why do you do it?

First, I’m not an officer, nor was I ever one. I just appreciate them. It all started on 9/11. While I was thinking on the events of 9/11, it made me consider how thankful that we should be for our local police and fire crews. I called my local Police Department (Huber Heights) on 9/11 to ask them to let the on-duty officers and fire fighters know that they were appreciated. I was informed that they had not had that request in over 14 years. An unsolicited act of kindness. So I have made it a personal goal of mine that no officer or fire fighter in my area will ever work through a holiday and not know that that are appreciated by someone. I want to make sure that every hero in my area knows that they are honored. I’ve been establishing contacts in police and fire departments within 75 miles of me. I send them emails on the holidays, and when there is an accident, I pray. And when it’s close enough, I’ll visit at the hospital. And I’ve been to a viewing and a funeral.

Some of the postings you see are from the Officer Down memorial pages . It’s my small tribute to fallen heroes. They deserve much better, but it’s what I can give. Most of those I have contacted the department to pass my condolences to the family and the department. In these situations most people forget that the department has lost a brother/sister.

Now, the big question, Why. Like I said before, I want to be there for those who are there for me. For those people who a majority of the time are cursed because they hand out speeding tickets. I wanted to let them know that there are people who truly support them. Who care about them. Who are concerned with their struggles. But basically, to me, it started as something that God has for me to do. But now, I enjoy it. Nothing like riding shotgun (no pun intended – and for those who know of my skills, I did not hold or touch a gun!) in a Police Cruiser. It brings joy to me to know that I make someone a little happier, or help give them some comfort in their grief. That’s a portion of why I do it.

I went to a funeral today. It was truly eye opening.

I met briefly Detective Faulkner’s family and read of their battle of this disease. They were so…amazing. It’s all I can think to describe it. Amazing. I visited Detective Faulkner in the hospital a few hours before he died. I was kinda worried I’d be intruding. But a co-worker told me that he’d be glad to know someone cared if that was him in that bed. So I went. I went in and visited and explained why I was there. I got to say a few words to him. Tell him that I appreciated what he did as an officer, and through the battle that he was fighting. I could think of nothing else for the rest of the day.

I don’t think I’d ever been to a funeral of someone who wasn’t a relative of me or my wife before today. Honestly, it was a little intimidating. I knew I would be surrounded by some of the greatest people in my city. His family. The men and women of the Trotwood Police Department, and others across the Valley. Here I was walking through a sea of blue, and from all over. I greeted a few of the Trotwood officers. I knew that they had lost a brother too. Not a “blood” brother, but a bond that sometimes can be closer. Today, I caught a glimpse of how deep that bond is. Seeing men, tough men, moved to tears at the thought of seeing him one last time.

I waited until the last minute to go to the front to the casket. I didn’t feel worthy of that moment. Not me. But I went up there and did what came natural. I saluted. I was seeing a truly great man for the last time. Then I turned and stood in the back. It was a moving tribute to a truly great man.

Then, I had to go back to work. At that moment, it was one of the hardest things I’d done. And I thought about it all day. Would that many people come to see me? Would I have someone talking about me like that? Then my thoughts gravitated to those who were left. Specifically those I am sent to. The guys over at Trotwood were cleaning out as desk. I wish I could have been there for them. I’m sure that had support, but I wanted to be there. Be there for those who are there for me. For those people who a majority of the time are cursed because they hand out speeding tickets. I wanted to let them know that there are people who truly support them. Who care about them. Who are concerned with their struggles.

I don’t know where this road will lead. All I know is something was started in me that day I talked to Dispatcher Richendollar on 9/11/08. When I heard from the officers in Kettering and Colerain TWP that they’d been an officer for over 30 years and had never received a nice email saying “Than You” for no reason other than they were police, something happened. When I got a gold-embossed thank you card from a Police Chief I likely will never meet , something happened. Every time I got a Thank you from an officer for just sending an email, or saying “Hi” in a Speedway, something happens. And today, seeing what greatness is about, something happened in my heart.

Note: Jamie was part of the band Knight Blaze, which recently performed it’s last concert.