From when the initial call for shots fired came from Rickey Nelson Coley's West Bloomfield home Sunday night, until the end to the bizarre standoff roughly 24 hours later that left Coley and West Bloomfield Police Officer Patrick O'Rourke dead, police officers were on the scene assisting.
And they haven't stopped since, or plan to through the difficult days ahead surrounding O'Rourke's funeral, officials said. Since Sunday night, Bloomfield Township officers have back-filled West Bloomfield police patrol shifts, responded to calls for assistance, and helped work the dispatch center during an incredibly difficult time.
"It's important for (West Bloomfield Police Department's) people to be with each other, to get to the funeral and not have concerns about work right now. They've got to get their chance to mourn," Bloomfield Township Police Capt. Scott McCanham said.
"We've got the standing offer out to them that if they need anything, we're right here."
Police said O'Rourke, 39, was from Coley's family members at about 10 p.m. in the 4000 block of Forest Edge Lane. The officers returned fire and retreated, carrying O'Rourke outside to wait for paramedics. They transported him to McLaren Hospital in Pontiac, where the 12-year department veteran and father of four died.
O'Rourke's death is the first to occur on duty in the West Bloomfield Police Department's history, Lt. Tim Diamond said. Grief counselors have been available to staff, who have received an outpouring of support, outside the department. In additon to the necessary time off for collegues to attend O'Rourke's , Diamond said a handful of officers involved in the shooting incident remain on administrative leave until an investigation by the Oakland County Sheriff's Department concludes.
'It All Floods Back'
The brotherhood and camaraderie shared by members of law enforcement, regardless of badge color or jurisdiction, is commonly known and part of the reason Bloomfield Township officers want to pitch in.
Another reason is that current members of the department understand. The first on-duty death in the department's history is recent enough that most of the staff experienced it in some way. Officer Gary "Coop" Davis, 36, was killed May 13, 2004, when a drunken driver struck his patrol car on Interstate 75. He was transporting a suspected drunken driver to the station when the crash occurred.
The department honored Davis on earlier this spring, and, for the first time, Davis' red 1973 Challenger during the Woodward Dream Cruise. The annual event helps raise money for the Bloomfield Township Police Benevolent Fund, which was created following Davis' death.
The fund has since helped the families of fallen or injured police officers throughout Metro Detroit, said McCanham, who has served as president of the fund since its inception. The executive board has not met yet to determine what type of monetary or other donations will be sent on the fund's behalf to O'Rourke's family, which has .
"No question about, we know all too well what that department is going through, and will continue to go through," McCanham said. "Even though it's been over eight years since (Davis') death, it doesn't seem that long ago, and something like this brings it back. It all floods back."