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Friday, December 15, 2017 Elyria
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Paying tribute to fallen officers

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    Col. Paul Pride, OSHP Superintendent, gives the keynote speech during the Lorain County Police Memorial Service on Thursday afternoon, May 11.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Officers from throughout Northeast Ohio laid roses to honor fallen Lorain County officers on Thursday during the Lorain County Police Memorial Service.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Officers from throughout Northeast Ohio laid roses to honor fallen Lorain County officers on Thursday, May 11 during the Lorain County Police Memorial Service.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera speaks during the Lorain County Police Memorial Service on Thursday afternoon, May 11.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    Lorain High School student Anastasia Williams sings the national anthem during the Lorain County Police Memorial Service on Thursday afternoon, May 11.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    The Lorain Police Department honor guard posted the colors during the Lorain County Police Memorial Service on Thursday afternoon, May 11.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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    The Cleveland Police Department Pipes and Drums performed during the Lorain County Police Memorial Service on Thursday afternoon, May 11.

    KRISTIN BAUER / CHRONICLE

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FALLEN OFFICERS HONORED

  • City Marshal George Brenner, Wellington Police, July 17, 1883
  • Marshal Spooner Crapo, Rochester Police, Nov. 11, 1905
  • Constable Rupert Becker, Amherst Police, April 10, 1916
  • Detective Sgt. David Barnes, New York Central Railroad Police, July 27, 1920
  • Patrolman Fred Webber, Lorain Police, Dec. 23, 1923
  • Patrolman Charles Deal, Lorain Police, Nov. 6, 1925
  • Deputy Franklin Strohl, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, June 13, 1930
  • Patrolman Howard Taft, Elyria Police, Aug. 18, 1942
  • Patrolman George Kirk, Lorain Police, March 30, 1944
  • Patrolman Edmund Smith, Wellington Police, May 4, 1957
  • Deputy Michael George, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, Jan. 9, 1961
  • Deputy John Palermo, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, Jan. 21, 1964
  • Patrolman Robert Woodall, Oberlin Police, March 10, 1971
  • Patrolman Francis Smolka, Vermilion Police, Oct. 29, 1978
  • Deputy Kenneth Tomaszewski, Lorain County Sheriff’s Office, July 3, 1979
  • Patrolman Leonard Wilcox, Veterans Administration, Jan. 31, 1986
  • Specialist Brian Spackman, Ohio National Guard, Jan. 14, 1991
  • Trooper Robert Perez, Ohio Highway Patrol, May 15, 2000
  • Cpl. Dyke Coursen, Beaufort, South Carolina Sheriff’s Office, Jan. 8, 2002
  • Sgt. Todd Bates, Ohio National Guard, Dec. 10, 2003
  • Staff Sgt. Aaron Reese, Ohio National Guard, Dec. 10, 2003
  • Officer Bradley Scott, Elyria Police, Aug. 27, 2004
  • Officer Jason West, Cleveland Heights Police, May 26, 2007
  • Sgt. James Kerstetter, Elyria Police, March 15, 2010
  • Trooper Kenneth Velez, Ohio Highway Patrol, Sept. 15, 2016
  • Patrolman David Fahey, Cleveland Police, Jan. 24, 2017

 

LORAIN — Gone, but not forgotten.

The phrase was repeatedas law enforcement read the names of fallen officers dating back to 1883.

Each time a name was read, a rose was placed in front of a red, white and blue wreath hung on the stage in the auditorium of Lorain High School, where dozens gathered for the fourth annual Lorain County Police Memorial Service on Thursday.

Photos were on each side of the stage, one of Ohio Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez and one of Cleveland Patrolman David Fahey.

Velez, who lived in Lorain, was struck and killed by a car in September while conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 90 in Lakewood. Fahey was struck and killed by a car on I-90 in January when he got out of his patrol car to set up flares while assisting Lakewood Police with a fatal crash involving a firetruck and another vehicle.

Police used Fahey’s handcuffs during the arrest when police caught the man who allegedly hit Fahey that day.

Velez and Fahey were killed less than a mile apart on I-90.

Their names were read along with more than two dozen others recognized for dying in the line of duty.

Ohio Highway Patrol Col. Paul Pride gave the keynote speech.

“Memorials like this give us a chance to reflect on a life’s story, a life that was well lived, a life of service and a life of sacrifice,” Pride said. “It also introduces the possibility of hope, imagination and new life for those that are survivors.”

Pride said he watched as the Northeast Ohio community came together after the deaths of Velez and Fahey and was blown away by the outpouring of support.

“There is just a very obvious sense of love that you have for one another,” Pride said. “We saw people lining the streets paying their respects, waving flags and holding signs.”

He thanked the community for its support in both cases by showing up in solidarity and he thanked local businesses that held fundraisers to support the fallen officers’ families.

Pride said the annual tribute is a chance to celebrate not the deaths of these men, but the way they lived with stories of their strength, courage and character.

“Our lives are made richer because our paths crossed with these fine men,” Pride said. “It doesn’t matter the shape of the badge or the color of uniform, fallen officers nationwide and worldwide are our brothers and sisters in blue.”

Contact Jodi Weinberger at 329-7245 or jweinberger@chroniclet.com. Follow her on Twitter @Jodi_Weinberger.



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