Moving Forward Means "Watch Each Other"
Chief Pickering noted that the department has turned to 24-7 counseling services that are always available to members. There are also additional mandatory counseling services assigned in circumstances such as this depending on one's involvement in the incident is. Yet members of Webster P.D. also know the most important thing is watching each other.
"We have tasked each one of our members to watch each other and you know you do run into some difficult times," Chief Pickering said.
Investigator O'Dea spoke about how simple things like turning in a slip requesting a certain day off brought tears to her eyes because Lt. Chiapperini was the person she'd typically hand that to.
The Chief is constantly reminded that "Chip" was the person he called to silence the ringer on his phone if interrupted an interview or to write up a press release as the department's Public Information Officer. As the Administrative Lieutenant his other duties are surfacing on an almost daily basis.
Webster Lt. Joe Rieger and his colleagues recall the jars of candy that "Chip" kept in his office and left out for all to share from. In all, the Webster Police Department family mourns but moves on simultaneously.
"Moving forward we are a strong family and we're stronger now than we've ever been," Chief Pickering said. "We will heal. We were bent, we were broken, but we will heal. We will be stronger. We'll never be the same but we will move forward."
"We have a job to do and we're going to continue to do that job," Officer Galante said. "We're going to grieve for our lost brother and we're going to try to move on and think about him and keep his legacy alive and do things the way that we know he would want us to do it."