Ohio police send aid to Florence officers
FLORENCE, S.C. – The Florence Police Department received a helping hand Tuesday morning from police officers from Canton, Ohio.
Patrolman Vinny Romanin and David Jatich of the Canton Police Department presented the Florence department with a box of more than 30 tourniquets and holsters in which to carry them.
Romanin and Jatich are good friends with Florence police officer Kris Russell. Russell worked in Canton before moving to Florence. When the two Canton officers heard about the shooting death of Sgt. Terrence Carraway, they asked permission to head south for the funeral and felt they needed to bring something with them.
Russell said Romanin had contacts with several companies, including Eleven10, the manufacturer of the holsters.
“When we found out what happened, knowing Kris, he had only been down here a couple of years,” Romanian said. “We were just blown away with how close this hit to home, even though we are in Canton, Ohio.”
Russell said Jatich was a big believer in tourniquets, having been saved by one in Iraq.
“It’s an honor to get to come down and represent the department,” Jatich said. “There’s a lot of people that this kind of hit them to the core that this could be us.”
Also, the Canton officers collected funds from officers in their department before coming to Florence for the funeral and the donation. According to Jatich, they collected a couple of thousand dollars for the donation. Eleven10, run by a Marine, offered the chance to provide even more tourniquets to the department if so many were purchased.
Russell said he was surprised by the donation. He had seen the box containing the tourniquets and holsters in the back of the vehicle driven by Romanin and Jatich but didn’t think anything about it. He believed it contained parts to the computer in the car.
“Yesterday after the funeral [of Carraway], we were just hanging out at the house, and he [Romanin] started telling me about getting all this organized,” Russell said. “It shouldn’t just be badge and gun. It should be tourniquet, badge and gun.”
Jatich added that more help would be on the way from Canton to Florence.
The Florence Police Department also is working toward receiving a $28,000 grant from the Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant. On Tuesday, Police Chief Allen Heidler provided, in accordance with the requirements for the grant, a summary of what the department plans to do with the funds.
Heidler said the department plans to purchase an additional portable speed display sign, a crash-data tool package, a fingerprint system and a voice-projection gas mask.