Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Elyria 43°


Lorain police captain to retire tomorrow; police memorial at City Hall to be unveiled


LORAIN — After more than 30 years of service, Lorain Police Chief Cel Rivera announced Thursday the retirement of Capt. William Engle effective tomorrow.

Engle was hired in 1980, was promoted to sergeant in 1992, lieutenant in 1994 and to captain in 2001.

Engle was an original member of the Special Weapons & Tactics (SWAT) Team and is a past commander of the support services division.

“Bill has been an integral part of every major improvement for the Lorain Police Department in the past 15 years,” Rivera said. “His knowledge and willingness to delve into complicated issues and come up with solutions will be sorely missed on a personal and professional level.”

As a result of Engle’s retirement, Lt. James McCann will be promoted to captain of police, Sgt. Ed Super will become a lieutenant, Officer Ken Zapolski will be promoted to sergeant and Wesley Fordyce will be sworn in as a new police officer.

Rivera also announced the unveiling tomorrow — of a $30,000 memorial to the three Lorain Police Officers killed in the line of duty — a project several years in the making.

The memorial, a bronze statute of a police officer, will be shown at 1:30 p.m. tomorrow in front of City Hall alongside the Workers Memorial.

The memorial honors:

  • Ptl. Fred Webber, 37, shot twice Dec. 23, 1923, trying to arrest a drunken gunman. Webber was shot in the back and died clutching the gunman after having wrestled him to the ground. An investigation showed Webber may have been killed by friendly fire as other officers were also involved in the chase and shooting.
  • Ptl. Charles Deal, 39, was the fatal victim of a hit-and-run driver Nov. 6, 1925. Deal was directing traffic at the scene of an auto-truck accident. Deal’s calls for help were ignored by the next five cars to pass and he died of his injuries on the way to the hospital. The father of a 19-year-old Lorain man brought the teenager to the station a few days later to confess to hitting Deal. A grand jury failed to indict the man.
  • Ptl. George Kirk, 57, was found face down at the bottom of an elevator shaft March 30, 1944. The elevator was at the second floor of the Lorain Hardware warehouse. The doors were found unlocked and open 18 inches. Kirk’s death remains unsolved.

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