West Bloomfield, MICH. (WXYZ) - It’s been almost two years since West Bloomfield Police Sgt. Patrick O’Rourke was shot and killed during a domestic violence call, leaving behind a wife and four kids. He was the first West Bloomfield officer to lose his life in the line of duty. Sgt. O’Rourke was all about public service, family, and his faith… and now, those who loved him most want to make sure his legacy lives on.
Every couple months, Amy O’Rourke comes here to the West Bloomfield Police Department. She and her kids will forever call the officers family.
“I just love to squeeze them,” she tells me.
They helped Amy through her darkest days after her husband was killed in the line of duty. They even stepped in for Patrick, as Officers Joe, Art and Derek took his girls to the Daddy Daughter Dinner Dance.
And now, they’re going to help others in Patrick’s name.
“A couple of my Honor Guard friends, Chuck and Joe, approached me shortly after Pat was killed and they wanted to do something to remember him every year,” Amy says. “And I loved the idea.”
They decided on a golf outing. And the inaugural Patrick O’Rourke Memorial Golf Outing will be held September 22nd. Some of the proceeds will benefit the scholarship fund Amy started in Patrick’s name. The money will help students pursuing degrees in law enforcement and public safety.
“Just loving the police family and want to keep it growing,” Amy says.
Officer Joe Miller worked on Pat’s shift.
“I can be honest with you and tell you this whole thing has been soaked, drenched and cloaked in prayer,” Officer Miller explains.
Living Their Faith
Patrick and Amy lived their Catholic faith every day. It was that faith that stunned so many of us when just a day after Patrick’s death, Amy said she forgave the shooter. I talked to her about it when I visited their home a couple months later in October of 2012.
“To not forgive just hurts us,” she explains. “I think when you carry unforgivness, it just makes you sick physically, emotionally, mentally. And that’s why God wants us to forgive people because he knows it’s going to affect who we are and how we feel. We have to let go of that stuff.
Amy credits her faith with helping her through her grief.
“God has plans for all of us,” she says. And we’ve gone through this for some reason we can’t see yet, but everything gets better. “They tell you time is the healer and that’s absolutely true, I’m so much better than I was. A year ago, a year and a half ago, I can talk about it now without choking.”
Helping Others Through Their Grief
Now she provides support for others who have lost loved ones in the line of duty. And her kids, just got back from camp with other kids who share the same heartbreaking bond.
Dan O’Rourke is Patrick’s dad. He helps keep his son’s memory alive with Patrick’s old squad car. He bought it shortly after he died. Dan was honored to drive it before the Dream Cruise in the traditional Emergency Vehicle Lights & Siren Parade.
“There are no totally bad days anymore,” he explains. “But there is never a day where there isn’t a bad part of it. Other than that, we’re just amazed at how many lives he’s touched…
And now, there will be many more.
The golf outing is sold out, but you can still buy tickets for the BBQ dinner following golf. They're also still looking for Corporate sponsors. If you'd like more information about the event, click here