Standing in the gap

By BRIANA HARRIS / Staff Writer

Since the death of Pelham police Officer Philip Davis in 2009, the Pelham Police Department has not wavered in its support of the Davis family.

Pelham Officer Adam Schniper accompanied Philip Davis’ daughter to a father-daughter dance. (Contributed)

After Davis’ death the department promised to help keep his memory alive and to help his family however they can.

Monday, Dec. 4, marked eight years since Davis was shot and killed during a traffic stop on Interstate 65. Davis was Pelham’s first police officer to be killed in the line of duty.

On Sunday, Dec. 3, a day before the anniversary of his death, a wreath-laying ceremony was held at Davis’ gravesite at Southern Heritage Cemetery at 2 p.m.

It was there that I learned that Pelham Police Officer Adam Schniper accompanied Davis’ daughter to her first daddy-daughter dance. Schniper said he automatically answered yes when Davis’ daughter asked him to be her date to the dance.

The pair won the school’s dance contest with their disco routine, according to Schniper.

Over the years, Amy Davis, Philip Davis’ sister-in-law, said members of the PPD have stepped in to fill the fatherly role in the lives of Philip’s two children.

“We have a video of him showing her how to dance and of him putting a corsage on her,” Amy Davis said. “These guys try their best to fill that role whenever they can.”

Amy Davis said she and her family are so grateful for the community’s continued support.

“Especially in these times, people see that the sacrifice is greater than what they realized,” she said. “People are here to let us know that they haven’t forgotten. It’s not just the family that deals with this, it’s the entire police community and their spouses – everyone has to deal with it in their own way.”

Although Philip Davis is not alive to do the things that fathers look forward to doing with their children, I’m so glad to know that the Pelham Police Department will do all it can to stand in the gap and provide Philip Davis’ children with fun memories that will last a lifetime.