WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WCMH) – “When I first came on years ago, not so prevalent, but now my son’s a CPD officer; we worry every day about what’s going to happen and it never gets off your mind,” Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin said.
That message is one that echoes through the Columbus Division of Police, and officer safety is at the top of mind as many gathered Saturday to show support for an officer shot nearly a month ago during an I-70 shootout.
Saturday’s event was supposed to be about just family fun, but the Fraternal Order of Police, the division’s union, said that when one of its own was injured, the event shifted gears.
The bouncy houses, food, and music are all making up a fundraising event for the officer, injured during the July 6 pursuit and shootout that left one of the suspects dead and two others facing federal charges.
The FOP said there isn’t an exact number yet on the support the officer will need, but said that so far, more than $25,000 has been raised to help cover his costs.
Officials have still not released the officer’s identity. He was released from the hospital on July 26 after spending 20 days at Grant Medical Center.
FOP board member Pete Casuccio said the event is not so much about fundraising but showing support for the officer.
“The officer is a true warrior, right?” Casuccio said. “He knows he has a long road ahead of him, but thanks to his faith and his belief in his family, what he does for a living, we think he’s going to be OK, and he’s in great spirits. His head is in the right place.”