Monday, December 22, 1997
Show of sympathy amazes
Police loaded with letters, donations

The Cincinnati Enquirer

Cincinnati Police Chief Michael Snowden is overwhelmed with the deluge of letters, telephone calls and offers of assistance to the police division since two officers were slain Dec. 5.

In the Line of Duty
Enquirer coverage of the deaths of Officers Pope and Jeter

''We haven't taken the time to count all the letters or record all the calls, but I would say they are well over a thousand,'' Chief Snowden said Sunday. ''Letters, calls and gifts have come in every day since this happened. I have a whole stack in my office, not just from Cincinnati and the Tristate, but from all over the U.S.''

The chief talked about his appreciation for the response Sunday, and also expressed his feelings in a full-page ad in Sunday's Enquirer. He said many of the letters and calls have come from federal, state and county police units as well as from municipalities across the country. ''This is an indication of the tremendous amount of respect for police officers and the duty they perform. This respect came from a variety of people.''

Police Spc. Ronald D. Jeter, 34, and Officer Daniel Pope, 35, were shot to death while serving a warrant on a suspect.

The suspect, Alonzo Davenport, 20, took his own life minutes after shooting the police officers, authorities said.

Lt. Tim Schoch, public information officer, said in addition to letters and telephone calls of sympathy, there have been numerous offers to donate professional services.

''We have had a broad spectrum of professional services offered,'' including such areas as counseling, Lt. Schoch said. ''The psychiatric services have been especially useful in terms of helping to counsel family members, officers who were close to the slain officers and those officers who just have a tough time adjusting to something like this.''

He said the psychiatric help was especially useful to a graduating recruit class. ''We also had our on-board counseling services, plus peer counselors who were able to step in and assist.''

He said a sampling of the letters showed a cross-section of society. ''They came from rich and poor; black and white; young and old,'' he said.

Lt. Schoch said several organizations have set up funds for the slain officers. They include Fifth Third Bank, Jacor, Q102 radio and the Blue Ribbon Campaign.

He said a number of contributors gave, but they want to remain anonymous.

''I guess some of the most impressive responses came from ordinary people who had suffered similar tragedies, and they called just to share their experiences,'' Lt. Schoch said.