Officer Patrick O’Rourke left behind a wife and four young children when he was shot and killed in the line of duty Sept. 9. Now, the Rochester Police Department wants to help.
The RPD is sponsoring a free family fun day as a fundraiser for the O’Rourke family. It will be this Saturday, Oct. 6, at Long Meadow Elementary School, 450 Allston in Rochester Hills from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is $10. All proceeds will benefit the O’Rourke family.
The day will include activities for adults and kids. Police cars and fire trucks will be on display, and there will be face painting, pumpkin decorating, clowns, a tug of war and a pie-eating contest. In cooperation with Bobbi Fedricks, landscaper and owner of Ponds and Beyond Landscaping, there will also be a garden walk at a home next to the school at 501 Allston.
Rochester Police Chief Steve Schettenhelm said he was approached by Rochester Officer Jeff Firman and his mother, who wanted to do something for the O’Rourke family. They didn’t know Officer O’Rourke, but another Rochester Police officer worked with him.
“Any incident like this hits close to home,” Schettenhelm said. “We have the ability to provide a service. We know they would do the same for us.”
O’Rourke, 39, lived in Fenton and was a 12-year veteran West Bloomfield officer. On Sept. 9, he was shot and killed as he entered a home in West Bloomfield in response to a report of shots being fired. According to news reports, the man inside the house was found dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound after a 20-hour standoff. The man, who was 50, had recently been divorced and was facing eviction from his home.
“People have to realize that police work is inherently dangerous,” Schettenhelm said. “People here and throughout the country handle those types of calls. That could be one of our officers.”
A representative from the West Bloomfield Police Department will attend Saturday’s fundraiser, along with Rochester police officers and firefighters.
“We’ve been really pleased with the support we’ve been given by the community,” Schettenhelm said. “That also makes us feel good that the community is supportive of law-enforcement in general.”
A trust has been established for the health, safety and welfare of Officer O’Rourke’s family. Donations may be made online through westbloomfieldhero.com.