BY JANE PRENDERGAST
The Cincinnati Enquirer
TAYLOR MILL -- Rarely is "relief" the buzzword at a funeral home.
But this visitation was different. Friends and family of Covington Police Officer Mike Partin had been waiting to pay their respects. Waiting for 4 1/2 months, 138 days.
They were relieved Thursday to have him back from the Ohio River. "There's a huge sense of relief that we are finally able to give Officer Partin the send-off he deserves," said Lt. Col. Steve Schmidt, department spokesman.
Officer Partin, 25, was helping another officer chase a suspect Jan. 4 when he fell through a gap in the Clay Wade Bailey Bridge.
His body was recovered Monday.
Hundreds of mourners filed in and out of Allison & Rose Funeral Home in Taylor Mill throughout Thursday afternoon and evening. Police officers came from all over the Tristate. Paramedics stood by, among them former Covington Police Chief Joe Rieskamp . Flowers arrived by the vanload.
"Without this, there was no healing process," said City Commissioner Jerry Bamberger, a member of the funeral planning committee. "Now it can start."
Thursday was the best chance for supporters of Officer Partin and his widow, Lisa, to pay their respects. This morning's funeral at St. Timothy's Episcopal Church in Anderson Township will be open only to family, Covington police officers and their families and some city officials.
Officer Partin graduated from Glen Este High School in 1990 with a 3.9 grade-point average.
He graduated magna cum laude from Northern Kentucky University in 1995 in political science and criminal justice.
He had been a member of the Covington department 15 months.
The officer became the first recipient Thursday of the force's Legion of Honor medal. Chief Al Bosse presented it to Mrs. Partin Thursday inside the funeral home.
It is given only posthumously.
Street closings and traffic delays
MIKE PARTIN PAGE