MI-C.O.P.S. offering support to O'Rourke's family, department - KMSP-TV

MI-C.O.P.S. offering support to O'Rourke's family, department

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BROWNSTOWN TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WJBK) -

Efforts are already underway to help the family of Officer Patrick O'Rourke.  The volunteer group MI-C.O.P.S. will offer support for the family and the police department.

"I just know it's going to be a really rough road.  It's always a rough road," said Diane Philpot.

She knows because she's been there and will never forget.  Back in 1995, her husband, Jerry, a Detroit police officer, was shot and killed in the line of duty in a gang related incident.  He was just 28 and they had a six-month-old baby at the time.

"Personally for me, that was the biggest thing that somebody could've told me was that they went through it and, gosh, they're still alive.  They made it, so it gave me a little bit of hope."

For the last 15 years, Philpot has helped give other grieving families hope as a volunteer and a board member with MI-C.O.P.S.  The organization offers comfort and support for families and police departments.  They've already been in touch with West Bloomfield Township Police and the family of Officer O'Rourke.

The statistics are alarming and hard to comprehend, but Philpot said every 52 hours a police officer is killed in this country.  That's about 160 officers a year.

"Stuff like this happens all the time.  It's just going to keep happening as long as there's bad guys because we send our loved ones in to help."

Officer O'Rourke leaves behind a wife and four young children and a devastated department and community.  He's the first officer to die in the line of duty in West Bloomfield Township and the first in the state this year.

So how can the public help?

"What you can do is just be kind to the department, be kind to the family and put up lots of prayers because you can't fix it.  You can just try and make their life a little easier, but we can't fix it, and that's the sad part of it.  So, just be supportive because that's what they need."

For more information about MI-C.O.P.S., visit www.micops.org.

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