“Today is a solemn occasion as we gather at this beautiful memorial to hold vigil for our departed brothers and sisters of the law enforcement community.”
So spoke Allen Shields, president of the Fraternal Order of Police (F.O.P.), Hi Point Lodge No. 60, at the 52nd annual Logan County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on Saturday morning at Brown Park, Bellefontaine.
Officers representing township police departments, the Logan County sheriff’s office and the Ohio State Highway Patrol (OSHP) participated in the service. Dozens of civilians were also in attendance.
“On average,” Shields continued, “one law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty somewhere in the United States every 53 hours.”
Since the death of George Rockwell (Logan County Sheriff Department) in 1878, three more Logan County officers made the ultimate sacrifice: Frank J. Hossler (OSHP) in 1956, Sherman Ricketts (West Liberty Police Department) in 1962, and Murray Griffin (Belle Center Police Department) in 1986.
Bellefontaine Mayor Ben Stahler was on hand to proclaim May 15-22, 2022, as National Police Week to commemorate the officers who put themselves at risk to protect their community.
Following a poem reading by Sarah Blair with the sheriff’s office, Shields introduced the event’s guest speaker. Col. Richard S. Fambro was appointed as the OSHP’s 19th superintendent in March 2019 and was the first African-American to take the position.
“I underscore this— they’re heroes,” Fambro told those in attendance. “Remember that they lived, not that they died. Nothing will ever be enough to honor these fallen officers.”
After Fambro’s message, the roll call of all current law enforcement officers was read, followed by a 21-gun salute. The service ended with “Taps,” played by Lynn Fullerton, and “Amazing Grace,” performed on the bagpipes by Eric Beverly as the flags were lowered to half-staff.