Sunday, January 09, 2000

Hamilton memorial 'overdue'

Police see it as inspiration

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        HAMILTON — It's a memorial that city police officials hope never memorializes anyone else.

        Hamilton's first-ever police memorial — honoring officers killed in the line of duty — is still in the design stage, but Police Chief Neil Ferdelman is anticipating the positive impact such a memorial will have on both officers and citizens.

        “It's something that is way overdue here. It's important for us and citizens to realize the sacrifices made every day,” Chief Ferdelman said.

        Seven Hamilton police officers have been killed in the line of duty, and the chief hopes there is never the need to etch another officer's name on the planned memorial.

        “I hope we never have to add to it,” he said. “It will be a reminder to us to be ever vigilant to the dangers this profession entails.”

        Officer Aaron C. Laubach, who died Jan. 27, 1938, is the last city police officer to be killed while on duty.

        The memorial's design possibilities have been narrowed to two or three, he said, and soon officers will be offering their opinions on the designs, which have been drawn up by a Minneapolis studio. There is no estimated date for the memorial's completion.

        The memorial likely will be located on South Front Street in front of the Criminal Justice Building. It could include an eternal flame, similar to the memorial on Ezzard Charles Drive — across from police District 1 headquarters — for Cincinnati Police officers.

        It could be a statue of a police officer or perhaps an officer kneeling to aid a child, said Chief Ferdelman. The memorial will be removable, should the city's police department be relocated.

        “It will be inspirational to us and inspirational to citizens,” he said.

        Money for the memorial is coming from corporate and individual donations and may include Hamilton City Council funding, he said.

        For information about the memorial or to make a donation, call 868-5811, ext. 2007.


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