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Law Enforcement Officials Rally in Fenton for Patrick O'Rourke

Thousands gather at St. John's Catholic Church for West Bloomfield Officer Patrick O'Rourke's funeral.

An estimated 2,000 to 3,000 members of law enforcement and the community turned out to support slain and his family.

in Fenton held services on Friday morning for 39, of Fenton, a member of the parish.

Police attended from the Fenton area and beyond to honor O'Rourke. They included Pennsylvania State Police, federal Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms agents; Royal Mounted Police from Canada and officers from Indiana, Illinois and Ohio. O'Rourke's department, the West Bloomfield Police Department, had many representatives, along with Metroparks officers, police from the University of Michigan-Flint and area municipalities such as Argentine, Linden and Fenton.

Sgt. Dave Reinfelder, of the said the law enforcement community really pulls together when an officer dies in the line of duty. They stand behind the fallen officer and his or her family.

As a police officer, Reinfelder has attended many law enforcement funerals.

"They're not the easiest thing to go through," he said.

Deputy Steve Bailey, of the Leelanau County Sheriff's Department, traveled three hours to show his support. It was his second law enforcement funeral.

"With this many people gathered, it's a very emotional experience to be surrounded by everybody who is here for a show of support and solidarity," Bailey said. "It's a very emotional thing to go through."

And Officer Sean Gifford, of the Perry Police Department, said he's attended law enforcement funerals before O'Rourke's, and he hopes he never has the need to attend another.

Although he didn't know O'Rourke, Gifford said it is sad to lose a brother. It's a realization for every police officer that every day when they go to work and kiss they families goodbye, it could be their last time.

"My heart goes out to Officer O'Rourke and his family and his co-workers," he said.

Fenton Assistant City Manager Michael Burns, also director and a former police officer, was on hand. He belonged to the Macomb County Sheriff's Office from 2000-2009 and has been to many law enforcement members' funerals, unfortunately, Burns said. Police usually turn out from all around the region, Chicago, Canada and all over the Midwest, he said.

"I've been to way too many of them. They're always very emotional," Burns said. "It's always nice to know the support you have when you have these, though."

Richard Smith September 14, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Such a horrible and sad event. Even more awful is how some people feel towards our law enforcement community. Check and see what Fred Leonard on the Michigan Radio & TV Buzzboard thinks about fallen Officer O'Rourke: http://mibuzzboard.com/phpBB3/viewtopic.php?f=5&t=35811
stephanie pytlowanyj September 14, 2012 at 08:25 PM
Why bother to re-post crap like this? If people don't re-post what is on the buzz board, it'll fade away, as it should.
Jane Webber September 14, 2012 at 10:05 PM
you are pretty darn heartless...
Jane Webber September 14, 2012 at 10:07 PM
sorry I misunderstood what you were referring to
JohnKimble September 18, 2012 at 01:25 PM
Officer O'Rourke would not have been ruffled by the fake FredLeonard over on a board that nobody frequents anyway. There is no need to redirect comments, or web-traffic over to an obvious troll over there at buzzboard. Rest In Peace Officer O'Rourke

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