Courtesies, assistance appreciated

To the editor:

On July 24, longtime Stratton Mayor John M. Abdalla departed this life.

As police officers know all too well, the death of a person is sometimes seen as an opportunity by the criminal element in our society. That person’s home and those of their family members and their place of business may be left unattended during the times that the family receives visitors and during the funeral services.

I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to the Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies and police officers who provided assistance with additional patrols or in some cases, an on-site presence to deter any unsavory characters who might have considered taking advantage of the situation during the family’s time of mourning.

I want to thank the Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies and police officers from the Toronto and Saline Township police departments who made passes through the village of Stratton during the visiting hours on Thursday and the funeral services in Friday. Their presence in the village was noticed by the residents and was very much appreciated.

I also want to extend my thanks to the many Jefferson County sheriff’s deputies; police officers from Wintersville, Steubenville and Cross Creek Township; and Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers who provided assistance with traffic control during the funeral procession on Friday. Many of them were not being paid for their time. There were a large number of vehicles in the procession, and having an officer directing traffic at the intersections allowed the procession to pass through uninterrupted to Mount Calvary Cemetery.

I would also like to express appreciation to the many drivers on the westbound side of the procession route that turned on their headlights and stopped their vehicles as the front of the procession approached them. Although not required by law to stop for an approaching procession, it has always been considered proper etiquette to do so. Several mourners later told me that this simple expression of respect, by people who probably did not personally know their loved one or friend was very touching.

Chief Michael R. Wilson

Stratton Police Department