Our friend, Columbus Division of Police Community Liaison Officer James Poole, is moving to a new position as a motorcycle officer effective May 2. He is one of the best officers and people that we know, and it has been a joy working with him.
The first Assignment we ever did with him was to help a family of 8 who were broken down on the side of the road, asking for money to help get the van fixed as they traveled from Florida to Wisconsin to a new job. Because of his huge heart, that family, who wouldn't have had enough to eat that evening and had run through their last dollars for a hotel, got their vehicle fixed, had meals for the days it took us to complete the Assignment, and received $590 to send them safely on their way to Wisconsin.
That was just the beginning and each Assignment we did with him was equally wonderful.
Officer Poole has been with us for nearly every Major Assignment we've had along the way--Cops & Barbers 2019 and 2020, Bikes Assignment 2019, Cops & Gobblers, events with Sahara-Columbus, Shop With a Cop, AEP Ohio Coat Drives, and our Easter Basket Assignments. He's also been there to guide us and offer advice every step of the way on these Assignments and many other actions we've taken.
He has the distinction of being the CPD officer who has read to more children than anyone else through our Books & Badges program--he even received an award from Deputy Chief Tim Becker for that very feat. In the early days of our program, he taught us how to effortlessly organize large, multi-class readings (he's able to read to 13+ classes in a day by himself if he needs to). He also helped other agencies who joined Starfish, telling them things he's learned in reading to children and making himself available for questions.
Officer Poole is a beautiful person whose enthusiasm for his job and his fellow man are some of his most defining characteristics. He loves being able to make a difference and we are honored that he chose Starfish to be his partner in some of his adventures. He's already making plans to read in schools as a motorcycle cop, talking about how fun it will be for the kids and that he's sure some of his fellow officers will also want to participate. We can't wait. 💙
Officer Poole unexpectedly reunited with the man whose life he saved as a child.
Officer Poole helps a formerly homeless mother and daughter get a car and apartment just in time for Christmas.