The outpouring of tributes and benefits for a fallen West Bloomfield Police Department officer and his surviving family continue to pour in.
The West Bloomfield Township Board of Trustees at its Monday, Oct. 1 meeting posthumously promoted Officer Patrick O’Rourke to the rank of sergeant effective Sept. 8, in addition to increasing the amount of his compensation and death benefits.
Township Supervisor Michele Economou Ureste said that since O’Rourke’s Sept. 9 murder, she had been working with Clerk Cathy Shaughnessy and the township’s labor attorney on a full pension payout and enhanced benefits for the family.
“This will improve the morale in the Police Department and leave the family in better financial shape,” Ureste said.
O’Rourke, 39, was shot to death when he and other officers responded to a home on Forest Edge Lane, near Pontiac Trail and Halsted Road, around 11 p.m. on Sept. 9 after receiving reports of shots fired inside the home.
Police said the arriving officers were met with gunfire by the 50-year-old homeowner, Ricky Coley, who then barricaded himself in the home for nearly 20 hours in a standoff with police before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.
O’Rourke is survived by his wife, Amy, and four children, Eileen, Mary, Andrea, and Stephen.
In addition to the township board’s actions, the private sector has stepped up, as well.
A benefit concert was held at the Royal Oak Music Theater yesterday, Tuesday, Oct. 2, with performances by area musicians including Fifty Amp Fuse and Mitch Ryder, with proceeds going toward a family trust fund set up by Bank of America.
Also today, Wednesday, Oct. 3, a group of restaurants across southeast Michigan will look to raise $100,000 for the O’Rourke Family Trust Fund through a benefit called “Tables For 4,” in which participating restaurants will look to donate 25 percent of their sales for the day.
West Bloomfield restaurants participating include Twist Custard and Yogurt, located at 631 Haggerty Road; and Yoz Yogurt at 4301 Orchard Lake Road and 33360 W. 14 Mile Road.
For a complete list of participating restaurants, log onto mattprenticeculinaryexperience.com.