Wednesday, January 09, 2002

Top cops meet president

        A small group of law-enforcement personnel — including the Cincinnati and Hamilton police chiefs — had a private audience Tuesday with President Bush.

        “It's something I won't forget my entire life,” said Hamilton Police Chief Neil Ferdelman.

        He and Cincinnati Police Chief Tom Streicher joined Butler County Sheriff Harold Don Gabbard, U.S. Attorney Greg Lockhart and two Ohio State Highway Patrol officers, Lt. Col. Michael Finamore and Sgt. Michael Asbrock of the patrol's Hamilton post. Sgt. Asbrock's son, Scott, 15, was killed Nov. 18 when a vehicle plowed through a crowd of Bengals fans.

        Mr. Bush met with the men for about six minutes, Chief Ferdelman said, and he expressed his appreciation for law enforcement.

        After shaking Mr. Bush's hand, Chief Ferdelman said, “The nation and the world have been so impressed with the tenacity of your administration in dealing with these terrorists.”

        To that, he recounted, the president replied: “You betcha we're going to be tenacious.”

        Chief Ferdelman said the president posed for a photo with each attendee and, “In person, he is just so approachable and so human, so engaging. ... It genuinely seemed that he would have liked to have stayed and talked forever.”

— Janice Morse

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