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His Judgment Day:
The officer stood and faced his God, Which must always come to pass. He hoped his shoes were shining, Just as brightly as his brass.
"Step forward now, Officer, How shall I deal with you? Have you always turned the other cheek To my church have you been true?"
The officer squared his shoulder and said, "No, Lord, I guess I aint, Because those of us who carry badges can't always be a saint.
I've had to work most Sundays, And at times my talk was rough, And sometimes I've been violent Because the streets are tough.
But I never took a penny That wasn't mine to keep.. Though I worked a lot of overtime, when the bills got too steep.
And I never passed a cry for help Though at times I shook with fear. And sometimes, God forgive me, I've wept an unmanly tear.
I know I don't deserve a place among the people here. They never wanted me around except to calm their fear.
If you've a place for me here, Lord, it needn't be so grand. I never expected or had too much, But if you don't...I'll understand.
There was silence all around the throne, where the saints often trod. As the officer waited quietly for the judgment of his God.
"Step forward now, Officer. You've borne your burdens well. Come walk a beat on heaven's streets, You've done your time in hell"
I am a former City of Parkersburg, WV police officer. I was hired and went through the WV State Police Academy in January 1989. I also worked, part-time, for my sister who was managing the Washington County Open Door Home. This is where I met your father as he was also working there part-time. We spent some off-duty hours together at a Parkersburg club called Remedies. This was a place where many off-duty officers hung out and Rod and I liked to play pool, so that's what we did. Your dad thought he was better than he actually was, so he often had to pay me the 25 cents that we put on each game. (it's my story and I'm sticking to it)
Rod and I had spoken, at the Open Door Home, and we were gonna go play pool the next day after our shifts. I had taken a prisoner to Magistrate's Court the following morning to be arraigned and they had a radio on. The announcer stated that a Washington County Deputy had been killed but he got the name wrong. He said Deputy "Kizer." My mind raced and I felt guilty for hoping that they got the name right and it wasn't your dad. Broke me heart to find out the truth.
Now I don't want to make it sound that we were best friends, because we were not, but we did have a new friendship which was growing. I rode in the 1st non-Washington County police cruiser (a Parkersburg cruiser) during the processional for your dad's funeral. I didn't handle it all to well and that's why I have never written on this site until now.
Your dad was a very "cool" guy (I know "cool" may be a dated word but it fits). He was not easily rattled. Working the ODH together I saw him deal with some very upset and violent juveniles, but he remained calm and did right by them anyway. He always spoke of offenders in a "hopeful" manner... hopeful that an arrest, or sometimes just the contact, would have a positive effect on their lives. I have always hoped that some of that rubbed off on me and that I was a better officer because of it.
The newspaper, in Noble County, wrote an article about your dad's sacrifice which was extremely well written and stated that the people of Noble county knew that Rod answered a "Call in the Night" from their Sheriff and his life was stolen by a coward with a gun. I have the clipping somewhere and will post it on here when I locate it. Your father was a great police officer and a good man.
Rod, my friend... I miss you still and often.
Former Patrolman: Rick Ashwell
Parkersburg Police Dept.
September 8, 2012