Considering she truly believed a couple of officers saved her son’s life, Pat Roeller continues to tell herself the least she can do is continue to make home cooked meals.
How long has she been at this?
“About 34 years, I started in Indianapolis,” Pat told WHIO’s James Brown when the two spent time in her Miamisburg kitchen recently. Pat was busy making soup and desert for the Miamisburg Police Department.
To understand how she has gotten this far, she gave James a history lesson on her family’s life and struggles.
While living in Indianapolis, she said her teenage son got involved in drugs and alcohol.
“I went in to wake him up to go to church on Father’s Day. He turned over and I couldn’t identify him. He’d been so badly beaten the night before,” Pat said.
She said her son owed a drug dealer money. It got so bad, the Roeller family had to put their son in rehab. But during the worst of his drug battle, Pat said two or three police officers went above and beyond the call of duty.
“They took an interest and gave him their number,” Pat said. “When things came up he would call them.” With so much anger, frustration and disdain for drug dealers, Pat decided to fight back. She said she worked undercover for police and wore hidden microphones to get information to help officers arrest dealers.
“I went after some people supposedly, I had a contract out on me at one point,” Pat said.
That contract was to kill Pat. When James asked her if she was scared, she just smiled, laughed a little and continued making her soup recipe for the Miamisburg Officers. Growing up on a farm about an hour southwest of Dayton, Pat learned how to cook and bake. She loves making food for people. And because those officers cared enough to look out for her son, she started cooking for those officers, their department, and other Indianapolis area departments. She would go as far as having big Christmas dinners, inviting hundreds of officers to her home.
When she and her husband moved back to the Miami Valley about 20 years ago, she had to have a house that could allow her to keep saying thank you and keep “Making a Difference.”
James asked her how many officers she has fed through the years?
“Easily in the thousands,” Pat said. “When they come stand in line and give me a hug, they got it.”
That is all the thanks and attention she said she has ever wanted.
Later WHIO met up with Pat when she dropped off her home cooking for Miamisburg Police.
“Thanks so much, you’re the best,” one officer told her. Others gave her big hugs and shared a few laughs.
“It’s encouraging to have somebody who is so thoughtful,” Miamisburg Police Officer Cindi Threlkeld said. “There’s a lot of man-hours that went into making us soup for 40 plus people.”
Pat never sees it as work. She said it is just her own little way of “Making a Difference.”
Officer Threlkeld said Pat’s timing was perfect.
“We deal with our fair share of criticism , and to have someone so positively giving toward us, it’s a phenomenal experience,” Officer Threlkeld said. All those years ago it took the officers “Making a Difference” in her family’s life to help save her son.
These days, Pat said her son has his own, successful business and a wonderful family.
Pat said she was just grateful, “Good can come out of bad situations.”
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