Police officers killed in the line of duty are honored in Mahoni - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio


Police officers killed in the line of duty are honored in Mahoning County

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In Boardman a Fallen Police Officers Memorial Bike Run began with a prayer, then the blessing of the bikes.

Names were read aloud for the 26 officers from Youngstown, Poland, Struthers, Campbell, Youngstown State University, the sheriff's department and New Middletown who lost their lives in the line of duty from  1891 to 2017.

Rick Alli, with Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #28, said,

"These are guys that were targeted or risked their lives heroically in protection of their community. I was on the scene of two of the officers killed in the line of duty and that is something that has stuck with me, so every year that I can do something, I'm going to make sure they are not forgotten," said Rick Alli with Fraternal Order of Police Lodge #28. "Michael Hartzell is an officer who was doing his job when he was ambushed for no reason at all other than having on a blue uniform in April 2003.  Paul Durkin was doing his job; talking to a suspect in September 1987. John "Sonny" Litch was transporting a prisoner in October 1981. The memorial is important to show their deaths were not in vain."

Bikers left the parking lot of Quaker Steak and Lube in Boardman and began a 50-mile trek that led them past the Fallen Police Officers Memorial where they remember their brothers in blue who paid the ultimate sacrifice. 

"Police face not only violence, but new potentially deadly dangers from opiates, and synthetics. Plus, an attitude that if one cop does something wrong, all police are alike," said Alli. "People who lump us all together, they tell us we're profiling. That's where the public sometimes profiles. I am the first one to admit all police are not the same. However, the vast majority of officers in our area are dedicated servants."

Others point out if you see a police officer, tell them thank you for doing a very difficult job. 

"Police put their lives on the line every day, even for the people who criticize them the most. Simply put, police face what we fear. Every day they go straight into danger when people are running in the other direction. Since 1700, when departments started keeping track of police deaths, there have been 20,000 men and women killed in the line of duty. That's a lot of people," said Benita Thompson with event sponsor Simon Roofing. "The officers' families are affected. I feel it is very important to keep the names of the fallen officers in the forefront so everyone is aware of the sacrifice they made."

Others in the community, such as members of the Teamsters, joined the police officers on the 50-mile memorial bike run to Guilford Lake Grille.

Money from the bike run is used for upkeep of the Police Officers Fallen Memorial in Youngstown.  

Simon Roofing and Sheet Metal, Quaker Steak and Lube, Guilford Lake Grille and L'uva Bella Winery were major sponsors of this event. 


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