Community Giving Back
While the men and women of Webster P.D. try to move forward they've been helped along by a community that has humbled them with an overwhelming show of support. There is the Webster community, the emergency responders community, and an international community touched and impacted by the tragic events on Lake Road on Christmas Eve. Chief Pickering said he's received phone calls and emails from around the world including people in Scotland, Germany, and South America.
Closer to home Chiapperini's closest colleagues receive hugs, kind words, and cards of support from complete strangers in the community.
"It really does help and I want to make sure that the overall community, not only fire department and police but the Webster community, knows that we appreciate those expressions of love and support and condolences...it helps us," said Webster Police Investigator Gretchen O'Dea who was a close friend and colleague of Chiapperini's.
"It's going to continue to be difficult to understand why this occurred to put some rationalization to this I don't think that we'll ever have those answers," O'Dea continued. "But we find comfort in knowing that there are more good people out there than there are evil people and there will always be more good people than evil people."
Webster Police Officer Tony Galante also knew Chiapperini as a fellow member of the West Webster Volunteer Fire Department. There are four members of the Webster Police Department who are also volunteer firefighters in their community and "Chip" was one of them.
"Something this evil that happens, the outpouring of support from the community that we have seen supporting the West Webster Fire Department supporting the police department, just it's been unbelievable," Officer Galante said. "It's amazing how we've all come together and the community's come together in support."
"They feel our sorrow," Chief Pickering added. "It's their sorrow and pain as well and yet (they ask) what can we do? How can we help? How can we help you move forward? That's an incredible gift."