Saturday, May 11, 2002

Five police officers honored

The Associated Press

        LONDON, Ohio — Five law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty last year were honored in ceremonies Thursday at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy.

        For all the pomp and circumstance — drum and bugle corps playing “Amazing Grace,” buglers playing taps — the ceremony isn't meant to be symbolic, Attorney General Betty Montgomery said. It's personal.

        “No greater sadness exists than what's in your hearts today,” Ms. Montgomery told an audience of about 500 that included widows, children, parents and friends of the fallen officers.

        “But today we stand by you. The passing of a peace officer forces us to examine that it is they who stand between chaos and order.

        “It is our duty to honor our officers for their deeds, both heroic and humble.”

        One of the six members of the honor guard that annually folds the flags was among last year's fallen officers. So, on Thursday, only five performed the ritual.

        Whitehall Police Officer Terry McDowell was shot and killed Aug. 24 while issuing a traffic citation.

        The 40-mile ride to the academy without Officer McDowell in the honor-guard van was a long and quiet one, Whitehall police Sgt. Dennis Allen said.

        “For years we've done this for other officers, but today it was Terry's name that was read during the roll call and added to that wall,” he said.

        Also honored were Columbus police Lt. Christopher Claypool, State Highway Patrol Trooper Frank Vazquez, Forest Park police Officer Charles McDonald and Cuyahoga County Deputy Sheriff James Salvino Jr.


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