Unedited comments e-mailed to The Chronicle-Telegram expressing sympathy and gratitude for slain Elyria police Officer James Kerstetter
Marie Weaver Arquillo: “This poem always touched my heart. As a former Police Officer’s Wife from another state, I know how much these Officers give on a daily basis. I also know how much their families give as well. There are many holidays where Daddy is not home, and many late nights that dinner is served without Daddy... This poem has always touched me, I just wanted to share. Thank you to all Police Officers AND their families for the commitment and sacrifices. —————————————- When God Made Peace Officers author unknown When the Lord was creating peace officers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, ‘You’re doing a lot of fiddling around on this one.’ And the Lord said, ‘Have you read the specs on this order? A peace officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn’t touch, and not wrinkle his uniform. ‘He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeou!
t, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witnesses, and testify in court the next day. ‘He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands.’ The angel shook her head slowly and said, ‘Six pairs of hands... no way.’ ‘It’s not the hands that are causing me problems,’ said the Lord, ‘it’s the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have.’ ‘That’s on the standard model?’ asked the angel. The Lord nodded. One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, ‘May I see what’s in there, sir?’ (When he already knows and wishes he’d taken that accounting job.) ‘Another pair here in the side of his head for his partners’ safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, ‘You’ll be all right ma’am, when he knows it isn’t so.’ ‘Lord,’ said the angel, touching his sleeve, ‘rest and work on this tomorrow.’ ‘I can’t,’!
said the Lord, ‘I already have a model that can talk a 250 po!
k into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck.’ The angel circled the model of the peace officer very slowly, ‘Can it think?’ she asked. ‘You bet,’ said the Lord. ‘It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda warnings in its sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time than it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop... and still it keeps its sense of humor. This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim’s family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn’t sensitive to the rights of criminal suspects.’ Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the peace officer. ‘There’s a leak,’she pronounced. ‘I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model.’ ‘That’s not a leak,’ said the lord, !
’it’s a tear.’ ‘What’s the tear for?’ asked the angel. ‘It’s for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice.’ ‘You’re a genius,’ said the angel. The Lord looked somber. ‘I didn’t put it there,’ he said.”
Sherry Barker: “I would like to thank you for a job well done. You risk your life everyday to keep our community safe. I want you to know how much I deeply appreciate you and your service to the city of Elyria. I will be praying for each and every officer on the force, that God will keep you, and return you safely home to your family each and every day. Again, Thank You Very Much! Sincerely, The Barker Family”
Joan Battle: “In a very small way we are going to show are heartfelt gratitude in my neighborhood tomorrow. I am going to gather all of the children in my neighborhood tomorrow on tables in my drive way to decorate signs of thanks, support, and sympathy in memory of Officer Kerstetter. I am then going to late Friday or early Saturday post these signs along the funeral procession route using stakes that go right in the ground. We are also going to tie Mylar balloons on them. Families in our neighborhood are then going to either attempt to attend the funeral (based on crowds) and/or will definitely line the procession route with more signs and flags the children will hold in order to honor a fallen hero and support his family and all the police officers who attend. My 6 year old son said: "It’s like when Barack Obama came. . .only really sad."
Jessica Beaty (senior at Elyria High School): “Thank you so much for all of your hard work at keeping us all safe. No matter what anyone says about our community it would be ten times worst without you and everything that you do to protect those who look at your uniform and think â€œProtectionâ€. It is sad that it is only at times like this that we truly seem to appreciate our police force and all those that defend us, but know that I, along with many others will forever be grateful that you work hard to keep our streets, city, and community as safe as possible. Thank you is not nearly thanks enough for all you do, but I do hope that this small gesture shows that your watch over us is truly cherished.”
Carol R Blaner: “Thank you all for all you do."
Melissa Bolinger: “thank you all for every thing you do for are community.Are prayers are with you all every time you step out into the line of duty.MAY GOD BLESS YOU”
Trina Borer: “I have nothing but the utmost respect for police officers. Thank you for all you do and for all you put up with from the public. I’m so sorry that sometimes when you do something, your decision gets called into question. For example, the police officer that had to shoot the dog recently. You did nothing wrong Mr. Police Officer. People are just sometimes, well, to be polite, stupid...You all are heroes to me. I again thank you for all you do for your communities. Thank you for risking your lives and being brave and courageous. Thank you to your families also. And I am so sorry for the loss of Office Kerstetter. May a little bit of his spirit, live in you."
Mrs. Kate Campbell: KEEP YOUR HEADS UP. YOU ARE GREATLY AND TRULY APPRECIATED. MAY GOD BLESS AND PROTECT YOU AND YOUR FAMILIES!! THANKS AGAIN FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO.”
Elizabeth A. (Willis) Buckway: “To Whom It May Concern.
My name is Elizabeth (Willis) Buckway. And my husband and father were both privileged to work with Officer Kerstetter at the Elyria Police Department.
I wanted to share this poem with you it is called A Cop on the Take at the bottom of the poem is an explanation of why it was written. I thought that it would be fitting to post in tomorrow’s paper so that the community can see what they go through on a day to day basis.
Thank you again for your time.
Elizabeth A. (Willis) Buckway
First he takes ... the oath.
Now look at what else he takes:
He takes ... it in stride when people call him pig.
He takes ... his lousy pay check realizing he’ll never be rich.
He takes ... a second job sometimes to make ends meet and support his family.
He takes ... time to stop and talk to children.
He takes ... your verbal abuse while giving you a ticket you really deserved.
He takes ... on creeps you would be afraid to even look at.
He takes ... time away from his family to keep you safe.
He takes ... your injured child to the hospital.
He takes ... the graveyard shift without complaint because it’s his turn.
He takes ... his life into his hands daily.
He takes ... you home when your car breaks down.
He takes ... time to explain why both your headlights have to work.
He takes ... the job no one else wants — telling you a loved one has died.
He takes ... criminals to jail.
He takes ... in sights that would make you cry.
Sometimes he cries too, but he takes it anyway because someone has to.
He takes ... memories to bed each night that you couldn’t bear, or even endure for one day.
He takes ... time to explain to his family why he can’t make the ball game his child is in and why he has to work on the holiday when other parents are off.
Sometimes ... he takes a bullet.
And yes, occasionally ... he may take a free cup of coffee.
If he is lucky ... he takes retirement.
Then one day he pays for all he has taken ...and hopefully, God takes him.
Written by Texas Police Officer Kendricks as a tribute to his late brother, Police Officer Rodney Kendricks, who died from injuries suffered in an on-duty auto accident in Lubbock,Texas - July 2001.”
Desiree’ E. Cartmill: “Thank you for everything that you do for the community. It is grately appreciated!! You put your lives on the line on a daily basis for the people of your community and you do not always recieve the Thank you that is needed.”
Joan Reach Ferraro: “I CRIED WHEN I READ THIS, I LIVE IN SCOTTSDALE, AZ. I LIVED IN ELYRIA YEARS AGO, I KNEW ALOT OF ELYRIA;S FINEST WE WERE CLOSE FRIENDS. I AM SO SORRY FOR THE FAMILY. GOD BLESS OUR MEN IN BLUE, MAY GOD PROTECT THEM.”
Shari Gjedrem: “Thank you for all that you do day in an day out, and all the sacrifies you and your Families do to protect us on a daily basis. My thoughts and prayers go out to all of you daily.”
Ray & Ruthie Gunter: “I wanted to take the time to Thank You for what you do for us on a daily basis. A long time ago, I had the pleasure of meeting Officer Kerstetter. I was previously married to a State Highway Patrol Officer and one day, he stops over with a fellow officer, knocks on our door and asks to speak to my husband. I advised them he was sleeping. He asked if he could come in and wake him up, I could tell from the mischievious look on his face that I had better let him in, or his itch for some ‘Fun’ would not go away :-) He ran into our bedroom and jumped onto our bed, and my husband.... Yelling for him to ‘Wake Up’... It was definitely a ‘You had to be there Moment’ but something I’ve never forgotten!! It takes someone Special to do what you do. The things you deal with that many people never know or hear about... You are the reason we are Safe and the barrier between the cruel world and Us, our families... Thank You for being THAT person... You are ALL Amazing people... Wi!
th much Love and Respect, Sincerely, Ray, Ruthie, Christian, Brooke Gunter ......and...... Paige & Mackenzie Biskup”
Patttie Harris: “It always breaks my heart when i hear of a officer who vows to protects us lose thier life in the line of duty . â€ OFFICER JAMES R.I.P â€“
Randy & Linda Johnson: “Thank You for all you do!! Our hearts go out to all the families of the fallen officers. Be safe and may god be with you.”
Shawna Johnson: “We are so grateful that you came and showed your support to our community. Thank you for all that you do and have done.”
Kim Gillette: “Policeman’s Prayer As I perform my duties And do my very best To keep my fellowman from harm And put their mind to rest. Use my skills and judgment To help and honor mankind Please keep me safe from danger God’s face I’ll always find. I give my life to my work Some people don’t understand As I face danger and fear each day I help my fellowman. I stand ready at each and every call Not looking for glory each day Yet putting my life on the line And paving a safer way. So when you see a policeman Ask God to watch him from above For he is out there protecting you He needs your support and your love. Â©Ginny Bryant THANK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOU DO FOR US DAY IN AND DAY OUT. TO MANY DON’T APPRECIATE YOU FOR THE JOB YOU DO AND THAT IS SAD, YOU DO A JOB MANY COULD NEVER DO AND FOR THAT YOU ARE SPECIAL! THANK YOU AGAIN, A TOUSAND TIMES OVER.”
Sherry Johnson: “Thank you for all that you do......i pray for each and every officers safety out there on them streets.....may god bless you all and your familys........”
Danyelle Kelley: “Thank you for all that you do for our fine city. You do your best out there and give your all. Words cannot truly express the gratitude that I have for all of our officers.”
Cheryl Kuhns: “We thank each and every officer that lays his life on the line everyday to protect the people in the community not only ours but all over the country.May God Bless each and everyone and may he keep you in his arms and protect you. Thank you all with Love and respect for the men in blue.”
Keith And LeeAnn Maguth: “Thank you so much for all you do everyday! We are very grateful that you make the ultimate sacrifice for us each and everyday. We can never express how much it means to us. Thanks Again. We will be praying for you.”
Lisa Miller: “We the Millers and Westfalls give our gratitude to all of the Elyria Police Officers for everything they do for the city and for making it a safe place to live Thank you very much.”
Catherine Moore: “I just want to Thank each and everyone of you for the careers you have chosen. This has to be a calling from deep within. I thank God and pray for you all when i hear your going to a call.........on my scanner.Please know there arent enough words to express how much it measns to me to be able to go to bed and know things with be fine! BECAUSE WE HAVE THE MOST COMMITED GROUP OF FIREFIGHTERS AND POLICEMEN ANYWHERE. Just know you all are always in my prayers..........and at times like this, well prayers are all i can offer..........but it is everything! May God Bless and Keep you all in his hands as you go about dealing with things we only read in the paper..”
Sylvia Burke Morley: “Thank you for all you do! Even though I am no longer in Elyria, you are all heroes and in our prayers.”
Michelle Nary: “I am very grateful for your service to my community. I am saddened by the loss of your colleague and my protector. Please accept my deepest sympathy and gratitude for the sacrifices that you and other officers make on a daily basis for my saftey. My brother, Michael Nary was a police explorer when he was killed in an accident at the age of 19. He would be a colleague of yours if he were still alive today. Yours is a nobel profession and I am proud to have your service!!!!! Thank you!”
The Nichols Family: “Thank you for all you do, you are greatly appreciated. Bless You and your family.”
Sonya Norris: “I am a mother of 3 children in the City of Elyria. I would like to thank all of you for watching over them and keeping them safe. Keep up the great work and may God bless you and your family in this tough time!”
Courtney Norwood: “Thank you for everything that you do to help make our community as safe as possible. Just knowing the selfless and courageous services that you provide in your line of work makes me feel safer because I live in an area with the most outstanding police officers any community could ask for. You are the epitome of a true hero and once again, I thank you!”
Megan Ody: “thank you so much for protecting and serving our community and risking your life for my protection stay safe god bless thsnk you so much for all you do. i got asked once who my hero was and now thinking it comes to my mind that police officers are you are there to protect and serve n matter what you are the greatest thing in my eyes you risk your life for me everyday and i thankyou so much. much love stay safe and thank you!!”
Darlene and Bernie Parker: “We are so sorry for the recent tragedy to the Kerstetter family and his fellow officers of the Elyria Police Department. A policeman’s job is very dangerous at times because they never know what the call may turn out to be. We, along with many other citizens appreciate everything they do to protect and serve. May God look down on his family and the department to help everyone get through this senseless tragedy. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all.”
Lyal Pritt: “THANK EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU.GOD BLESS AND KEPT YOU SAFE ALWAYS.”
Bill & Sally Ruth: “God bless you and keep you safe in your line of duty.. Thank you for caring so much for your fellow policemen. If you knew Jimmy Kerstetter, you would have a great feeling of pride for your profession. He was a wonderful man. Everyone that knew him, loved him. Thank you for coming to show support for his family. Love to you and stay safe!”
Debbie Walker, Marcus & Taylor Salas: “No words of thanks could ever express the value of the life that you put on the line for our community every shift you work. I am very grateful to be protected by such a wonderful family of officers that guard our streets and homes day and night! It takes a very special individual to do what you do. May God Bless you & keep you safe from the time you leave home till the minute you return. Our deepest sympathies for the loss of your fellow officer....”
Sarah: “I cannot find the words to thank you for your service. Your sacrifice helps ensure the safety of all and it is to be remembered and appreciated constantly. Thank you for all that you do.”
The Sawyer Family: “a big thank you to all patrolman that keeps our city safe in these trying times. our hearts go out to the family of patrolman kerstetters family. may god hold you in his arms at this trying time. again a big thank you to all that protects our city.”
Lindsay Schleimer: “Me and my 2 year old son are very proud to say Thank you to the Authorities.. We Thank you for being so brave to protect and honor the community. My thoughts and prayers are with all of you. thank you so much for all you do.”
Todd and Kelly Strebel: “We have never taken for granted the job you do, but in times like this we are reminded of how dangerous your work is. We have friends that are in the department and our hearts go out to not only them, but everyone. Jimmy was a childhood friend.We know offiicers don’t throw the word ‘brother’ around without meaning.You are a special group of people. It is with sadness that we write this, but please know that many, and Imean many people have the utmost respect for the job you do for our communities. May God bless all of you.”
Lorraine Taranto: “ ‘To Serve and To Protect’ is your motto. Although we rarely acknowledge this service and protection, and take it too much for granted, please know that what you do and how you do it really matters. Thank You!”
Cliff & Joan Thierry: “Thanks isn’t enough for all you men & women do to protect our lives. We just want you to know how much you all are appreciated. God Bless you all and protect you.”
Unsigned: “i want to express my sincer appreciation to the city of Elyria and all police departments for the job they do without grattitude mostly bad mouthed for doing there job its sad that it takes something like this for the public to show there support.”
Jackie Vacha: “Thank you for all that you do to protect us all, keep us safe, and just serve your City in general. Your dedication has not gone un-noticed, or un-appreciated. I have family in law enforcement, and my high school aged son hopes to become a Police officer also. I am so sorry for the recent losses you have encountered, my family prays for you all regularly. Please know that you are appreciated and thought of often and be safe. God Bless you for all that you do.”
Keith & Jacquie W.: “Thank you for your hard work and dedication in your services to our communities.”
Gerri Walsh: “Jim is gone ,but I am sure he is up there watching over Heaven ,saying’ I never knew you cared that much ‘ but we do !!. Thank you for what you do everyday .Its a shame it took this Tragedy to let you know how we feel . God Bless and go with you always.”
Joel and Julie Wilmer: “Thank you for all that you do for us. Your support of your fellow officers, families and community means a great deal to Elyria. God Bless you and protect you!”
Bryon Wolf: “I would like to thank you for the services that you provide that keep us safe. I would like to thank you for placing yourself in danger for strangers like myself. Police officers, Firefighters, Dispatchers, Nurses and EMT’S are not thanked enough. And it is sad that it takes a loss to realize that. So from me and my family I would like to thank you again and again! Thank you, Bryon, Jennifer, Cameron and Liam Wolf.”
From A Firefighter's Wife: “I cannot begin to express the sadness I feel for all of you at EPD. Being a firefighter's wife, I have begun to understand the brotherhood you all share. The sacrifice you and your families make does not go unnoticed. I thank God everyday for people like you who are brave enough to protect and serve the community. When someone as courageous and exceptional as Officer Kerstetter is taken away, there is no way to rationalize. I believe that he is now bigger and greater looking down on all of you from somewhere more peaceful. I hope that you can get through this difficult time knowing that someone like him is now your protector. Even though I did not know Officer Kerstetter, I wanted to express my condolences. THANK YOU for all that you do and for being brave enough to do the commendable service that you do. I will continue to pray for you and Officer Kerstetter's family.”
Katherine and Joseph Schmitt: “Thank You to all our men in blue. It is a shame that it takes something like this to wake up the gratitiude gene! Be safe in all you do for us and for our community!”