Thursday, January 04, 2001

Family, friends support officers

Both recognized for deeds that show their gentle sides

By Kristina Goetz
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        One Cincinnati police officer found support and hope with his family after being indicted Wednesday for his alleged involvement in the death of a College Hill man during a Nov. 7 arrest.

        Sitting around a small table in a Delhi Township condo, Officer Robert Blaine Jorg's family explained why the man they know so well could not be guilty of the crime of which he is accused.

        They talked about their son, brother and husband in a way that left the accusations from the Nov. 7 night when Roger Owensby Jr. died in police custody an impossibility.

        He used proper police procedure, they said. He went by the book.

        “I'm prouder of him now than I have ever been before,” his wife, Kristen, said, adding that no matter the outcome, his character is strong, his conscience clean.

        “We know the truth.”

        Officer Jorg's father, Gary, was with his son when he was indicted Wednesday afternoon. Officer Jorg, 29, was indicted on involuntary manslaughter and assault charges. Officer Patrick Caton, 34, was indicted on one count of assault in the death of Mr. Owensby Jr. The fam ily knew the possibility.

        They stood by him and paid the bond for his release. As Officer Jorg walked out of the Justice Center on Wednesday afternoon, several dozen officers applauded to show their support.

        “All of District 4 wants him back,” his father said.

        Looking through old football pictures and family albums Wednesday night, Gary Jorg reminisced about a football team his son played for called the Tomahawks.

        The tough discipline is something Officer Jorg carries with him in his police work, his father said, whether it's training other officers or being a role model for children.

        The family talked about his honesty and kindness — the time he sold a car for $1 to a family in dire straits.

        “The man said, "I don't have a dollar to give you,' so Blaine gave him the dollar,” Kristen Jorg said.

        The good deeds, the work ethic, will win out over the accusations, the father said.

        “When all the facts come out, he'll be found innocent,” Gary Jorg said.

        Officer Jorg has been with the Cincinnati Police Division since June 1996. He is an Elder High School graduate and attended the University of Cincinnati.

        Just as Officer Jorg's family described his diligence and volunteer efforts, so did reviewers in his personnel file.

        One reviewer in 1999 described the officer as working his beat in a proactive manner and as a “good decision-maker.”

        Officer Jorg did not have any reprimands in his personnel file.

        A Clifton pastor voiced dismay when he heard about Officer Caton's indictment.

        Officer Caton, 34, a former Marine and an officer 3 1/2 years, was also indicted on an assault charge.

        While some in the community were outraged that the charges weren't more severe, others were in disbelief there were any indictments at all. Richard L. Fisher is pastor emeritus at the Clifton Avenue Church of the Nazarene. His congregation honored the officer this year after he helped catch the thieves who were stealing the church's mail.

        “Every year our church picks out two or three outstanding police officers,” he said.

        “He was chosen this year because when I called to make a report he was extremely kind and courteous, not the usual brush-off.”

        So church leaders wrote a letter of commendation to the chief and presented the officer with a certificate.

        His performance records show increasing improvement since 1997. In a 1999 review he was described as self-motivated and an officer who needed little supervision.

        Officer Caton's personnel file shows he was suspended in June for 24 hours after being convicted of off-duty drunken driving and having a weapon while intoxicated.

        In 1999, he received a written reprimand for not filing a report.

2 officers indicted in Owensby death
Relatives rejoice over indictments
- Family, friends support officers
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