A card drive to thank Gahanna police, whose motto is "to serve and protect" the community, continues through Friday, March 2.
Gahanna resident Gale Cornute, the wife of a Columbus Division of Police officer, said it was put on her heart to put some "feet to my words" and show her appreciation for local officers.
"In light of the things that have been happening in Westerville, with the police officers being killed, as well as things that have been happening all over the country, it was put on my heart to do something other than just care," Cornute said.
Westerville Division of Police officers Eric Joering, 39, and Anthony Morelli, 54, were shot and died of their wounds after responding to a hang-up 911 call Feb. 10 in the 300 block of Cross Wind Drive. Westerville resident Quentin L. Smith, 30, was wounded in the exchange and was charged with two counts of aggravated murder the following day.
Following through on her feeling of gratitude for those who serve in such ways, Cornute and her friends delivered food to Gahanna police personnel Feb. 21.
"With the help of my community, friends and neighbors, we put a luncheon together for them, as well as a card drive," Cornute said. "I'm asking the community to bring cards of thanks, appreciation and prayers for the Gahanna police division."
A box has been placed inside the lobby of Gahanna City Hall, 200 S. Hamilton Road, for anyone who wants to drop off a card with a note of encouragement.
The box will be available between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through Friday, March 2.
"Whenever you see our officers, let them know how much you appreciate them and how much you care for them," Cornute said. "They have a job that's difficult to do. Being married to a Columbus police officer, I know what that job entails."
She hopes to direct some acts of kindness toward Gahanna police on a quarterly basis.
Gahanna police Sgt. Pat Millenbaugh was on the receiving end of a second delivery of food by Cornute and Gahanna resident Derrion Harris last week.
"We're thankful," he said. "The outpouring has been phenomenal. Maybe that's the good out of this -- a new understanding of police work."
Millenbaugh said the department also received a pile of Spiderman Valentine's Day cards from school children.
"On behalf of the entire division of police, we wish to send a profound 'thank you' to the many residents of Gahanna and Westerville for the overwhelming and humbling outpouring of support we have received over the last two weeks following the deaths of our brother law enforcement officers, Eric Joering and Tony Morelli," said Jeffrey Spence, Gahanna interim chief of police.
"From the kind words expressed in person, cards, letters, donations to the many fundraising campaigns, calls in to our dispatchers, food deliveries and meals prepared for our officers, we cannot thank you enough.
"We are truly blessed to serve such a caring and wonderful community. We are #gahannacares; #westervillestrong," Spence said.
Cornute said the reaction of police to the community's kindness has been touching and humbling.
"Let's give them all the support and love that we can," she said.