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Remembering Heroes: Ceremony pays tribute to fallen officers

Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine, members of the Ohio Peace Officer Training Commission, and law enforcement officers from throughout the state gathered May 3 in London for the annual Ohio Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony to honor the 791 Ohio peace officers who have died in the line of duty since 1823.

“We can never fully repay these officers,” DeWine said. “We do our best to honor their commitment and sacrifice. We remember how they embraced their oath of service with courage, clarity, and conviction. And we pray that those who are left behind may be blessed with peace and comfort.”

Buddy Blankenship, a police specialist with the Cincinnati Police Department, spoke to the crowd of his ongoing grief in the wake of the death of his friend and fellow officer Sonny Kim, who died in the line of duty in 2015.

 “Like the heroes we are honoring today, Sonny was where he was that morning because he answered the call,” Blankenship said. “For the families of our fallen, I pray God will provide the helpful hand they need to find peace to learn how to live in the wake of the loss of their loved one. For my fellow police officers, I pray for God to watch over us and we continue to answer the call.”

In Memoriam

Ohio law enforcement officers honored May 3 who died in the line of duty in 2017:
  • Officer David J. Fahey Jr., Cleveland Division of Police: On Jan. 24, 2017, Officer Fahey, 39, was struck and killed by a hit-and-run driver while assisting at the scene of an accident.
  • Chief Steven “Eric” DiSario, Kirkersville Police Department: On May 12, 2017, Chief DiSario, 38, was shot and killed by a gunman who had taken hostages at a nursing home.
  • Patrolman Marvin “Scott” Moyer, Lancaster Police Department: On May 26, 2017, Officer Moyer, 66, died from complications of a blood-borne illness contracted while aiding a suspect in 1998.
  • Officer Justin A. Leo, Girard Police Department: On Oct. 21, 2017, Officer Leo, 31, was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call.

Historical inductions

Also honored were officers who were nominated for induction to the memorial after their departments discovered that they had made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities in the past:
  • Constable Franklin Stone, Oberlin Police Department, June 5, 1881
  • Deputy Samuel J. Mautz, Franklin County Sheriff’s Office, July 11, 1921
  • Deputy Marshal Donald O. McLaughlin, Beverly Police Department, Aug. 16, 1970
  • Patrolman Bradley T. Scott, Elyria Police Department, Aug. 27, 2004
  • Sergeant Martin A. Stanton, Cleveland Division of Police, Sept. 27, 2010

K-9 induction

One K-9 officer who died in the line of duty in 2017 was honored at the May 3 event.
  • Dino, Green Township Police Department: On Sept. 25, 2017, Dino collapsed and stopped breathing while tracking suspects involved in a burglary and child abduction.

Historical K-9 induction

One K-9 officer was inducted from a previous year:
  • Uganda, Perkins Township Police Department, Dec. 4, 2016
Both dogs were added to the Ohio K-9 Memorial plaque at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.