HILLIARD, OH (WCMH) – Officers gathered at First Responders Park on Sunday to honor their fallen brothers and sisters during their annual Peace Officers Memorial Service.
“Tonight, we will leave this place and life will continue,” says Hilliard Police Chief Robert Fisher. “But, for the families of the five men that we honor tonight, their lives forever changed.”
Chief Fisher says in 2015 we lost 128 law enforcement officers in the U.S. in the line of duty.
“Everyday that they put on that badge and leave their families, they stand a thin blue line between good and evil,” he said.
Since they last gathered here at the Hilliard First Responders park last year, five officers have died in Ohio.
Chief Fisher says this year, their annual memorial service hits especially close to home after losing Columbus Officer Steven Smith.
“For us to be able to pay tribute to them is obviously very special to us,” he said.
People from the community gather as well, bowing their heads as a wreath is laid in honor of our police officer’s ultimate sacrifice.
“The fact that so many have past since last time we were here… it’s one of our ways we can show our respect for them and our pride for our son,” said the father of a Hilliard Police Officer Richard Turner.
“I didn’t know the fallen heroes that fell last year or this year, but I just wanted to pay tribute to their families and to all their sacrifice,” said Shannon Raines.
Columbus Officer Steven Smith died last month during a SWAT standoff in Columbus.
In January, Danville Officer Thomas Cottrell was also killed in the line of duty.
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