Today, the Columbus Blue Jackets honored Columbus Division of Police Officer James Poole with a surprise visit from Blue Jackets Captain Boone Jenner. They wanted to thank him for all the community service work he does, to include his bicycle trip across the United States last summer for First Responders' Bridge and his work with Starfish. The event has been weeks in the works, and a bunch of people knew, including members of his family, his current and former units, and FOP Capital City Lodge #9, but we did it. We surprised him!
We told Officer Poole we were having a party at the Motor Unit for Deputy Chief Tim Becker, who retires next week, and no one spilled the beans. Officer Poole was completely stunned when we pulled into the garage, and Chief Becker turned to him and said that the event was for him. He was actually speechless! (We're very proud of this--we've never seen him speechless before.)
To be fair, Officer Poole is very humble, and if we had told him the Blue Jackets wanted to honor him, he would have politely declined. But he does such great work that a surprise event seemed the only solution, and it was a wonderful experience for everyone. Boone stayed for a very long time, sharing the food that Jet's Pizza thoughtfully provided for the occasion and talking to the officers.
The Motor Unit will get to see Boone again soon--they'll be featured at First Responder Night on January 21. We're very excited about this because most people don't know much about them. For example, did you know they escort fallen service members to their final resting places, all over the state? Truly remarkable.
Officer Poole, congratulations on your well-deserved honor! We are proud to know you and work with you. Thank you to the Blue Jackets, Jet's Pizza, and CPD for letting us be part of this amazing event. What a way to start 2023!