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Gone but never forgotten: Remembering 2019's fallen officers

5/1/2020

Because of coronavirus concerns, the Attorney General’s Office followed the lead of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in canceling the Ohio Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony. But that doesn’t mean we should postpone honoring the officers who gave their lives in 2019 to protect the people of Ohio. Here are the three killed last year in the line of duty:

‚ÄčDALE J. WOODS

Colerain Township Police Department
End of Watch: Jan. 7, 2019

Colerain Township Officer Dale Woods

“I had the privilege of knowing Dale for 32 years,” Colerain Township Police Chief Mark Denney said. “In the first two or three years, we ran in different circles and weren’t what I would consider friends. He said maybe 10 or 15 words to me.

“Then I look back, and the remaining 29 years, I’m not sure he said much more,” Chief Denney continued. “But you never doubted his friendship. He had a remarkable ability for gaining friendships and earning respect without saying very much.”

Officer Woods, a father of three, joined the Colerain Township force in 2003, becoming part of the honor guard, bike patrol, quick response team, missing persons team and SWAT team. He previously served as a firefighter,
fire investigator and police officer in North College Hill and Lincoln Heights.

“He only got jobs in which he was serving other people,” Colerain Township Police Chaplain James Love said.

In his spare time, Officer Woods ran an auto-detailing business and played the drums. He also enjoyed bodybuilding, golf and his children: Trinity, now 22; Hallie, 19; and Collin, 15.

♦♦♦

Officer Woods, 46, was fatally struck by a pickup truck as he was setting out cones at the scene of a car crash.
 

WILLIAM L. BREWER JR.

Clermont County Sheriff’s Office
End of Watch: Feb. 2, 2019

Clermont County Deputy Sheriff William Brewer

“This would be the guy I would want to show up if my family members were in need,” Clermont County Sheriff Steve Leahy said of Detective Brewer.

The married father of an 8-year-old son joined the sheriff ’s office as a corrections officer in 1998 and became a deputy in 2006. In joining the SWAT team in 2015, he said he wanted to help people, both his fellow deputies and members of the public on the worst days of their lives.

“He was a huge team player, and he thought that everybody else should be a team player, too,” said Detective Adam Bailey, whose friendship with Detective Brewer began when the two were seventh-graders.

Outside of work, Detective Brewer focused on family time. He and his wife, Jamie, a stay-at-home mom, made it a priority to create fun experiences for their son, Braxton, and frequently visited water parks, museums, Gatlinburg, Disney World and other such places.

“Jamie took thousands of pictures and covered the walls of their house,” Detective Bailey said. “It was like God told her, ‘Hey, Bill might not be around forever, so take as many pictures as you can.’ And she did.

“It is so nice going over there.”

♦♦♦

Detective Brewer, 42, was killed when a man faked shooting himself to lure deputies inside his home, then fired at them through a wall.
 

JORGE R. DEL RIO

Dayton Police Department
End of Watch: Nov. 7, 2019

Dayton Police Detective Jorge Del Rio

“He left a legacy of service and sacrifice to this noble profession that is rare even among the best of us,” Dayton Police Chief Richard Biehl said of Detective Del Rio.

The married father of five daughters and three granddaughters had been with Dayton police for almost 30 years, including 19 years assigned to a Drug Enforcement Administration task force. In that role, the detective had the same powers as a DEA agent, working undercover in his home city and elsewhere throughout the United States.

Colleagues called him a true shadow warrior, a professional and a gentleman. He created strong partnerships across jurisdictional boundaries and was known as funny and warm-hearted but a straight shooter.

“When he was not at work, he was with his family,” Chief Biehl said. “When he was at work, he spoke fondly about his family.”

He met his wife, Kathy, in 1986, when both worked at an Elder-Beerman’s department store. They went on to have five daughters: Ariel, Ericka, Veronica, Naya and Dana. People referred to the detective and his girls as Del Rio and the Del Rio-ettes.

♦♦♦

Detective Del Rio, 55, was fatally shot while leading a task force team in executing a search warrant at the residence of suspected drug dealers.