Widow of fallen Whitehall police officer to help Joering and Morelli families cope

Published:
Updated:

WHITEHALL, Ohio - Angie McDowell knows exactly what the Joering and Morelli families are going through.

Her husband, Terry McDowell, was a Whitehall police officer and was killed in the line of duty in 2001.

She told 10TV there are many painful days ahead.

"I do know what these families are going through. I was in their shoes," McDowell said.

She won't sugarcoat it. McDowell says the pain is real and it might last forever.

"There's no time frame that's going to make this all better. There's not a magical number. You just deal with things differently as the years go on," McDowell said.

McDowell says she's better now. Time has helped.

"With the support of the community, with the support of the department. My family and my friends," she said.

In this moment, McDowell says she knows exactly how the families of Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli feel.

"It's very numb, You don't want to believe it. Nothing's going to become very, real? At least it didn't for me until the funeral actually happens," McDowell said.

What happened to the police officers in Westerville, takes her back 17 years.

"While you know what is happening, is happening, I don't think that your mind has a chance to catch up because it's a very senseless act that happened," McDowell said.

McDowell will step in to try and help both families understand because she's been there.

"It does get a little, easier, to get up in the morning," she said.

Her organization "Get Behind the Badge" will help too.

It offers families of the fallen financial and emotional support.

"We come in with the tools and the guidance and the resources for them," McDowell said.

McDowell says it will take time and a community to help these families heal.