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Published: Saturday, 5/9/2009

State official urges remembrance of 63 officers killed in line of duty

BY ERICA BLAKE
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Surrounded by flags and uniforms, Ohio Attorney General Richard Cordray advised those who knew any of the officers listed on memorial plaques to think of them as their names were read at the Toledo Area Police Memorial Service Friday

Think about them. See their face. Hear their voice, Mr. Cordray said to the crowd at the outdoor ceremony. Think about the ways that you have relied on them.

That wasn t hard for many at the service.

Gathered to honor officers killed in the line of duty, the faces of many betrayed their thoughts as the name of Toledo Vice Detective Keith Dressel was said followed by the soft tone of a bell.

He was among 63 officers from 20 departments throughout northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan who were remembered.

Among those attending were several officers recently laid off from the Toledo Police Department.

They said they were there because despite being without a badge, they remain police officers and members of the law enforcement community.

Regardless of the department s recent troubles, Detective Dressel s father, Michael, said it is still a place of comfort for his family.

He said he often visualizes his son s face and hears his voice and that he is honored that his son is still in the hearts of the community.

As soon as [Mr. Cordray] said that, Keith s image was in my mind, he said. It makes you feel good that people out there remember. It s great that all of these officers are still in their minds.

Remembrance, Chief Mike Navarre said at the ceremony, is one thing that the community and its officers can promise to provide.

We cannot replace them but we can ensure their families that we will not forget them, he said.

Before the ceremony, Toledo police recognized dozens of officers who went above the call of duty and citizens who helped law enforcement in a variety of cases.

Lt. Brian Twining, a 15-year veteran, was named Command Officer of the Year. Detective Kimberly Violanti, who has been on the force 26 years, was named

Officer of the Year. Also honored was administrative specialist Julia Ball, who was named civilian employee of the year.

Other awards and their recipients:

• Certificate of Appreciation: Lucas County Sheriff s Deputy Justin Hayden and Marissa Trevino.

• Meritorious Public Service: Miguel Gonzales, James Payne, Edward Turner, Walter Oprysk, Rick Skabar, and Chad Hill.

• Letter of Recognition: Sgt. Todd Miller and Officer Joseph Taylor.

• Meritorious Service: Sergeants Todd Miller and Edward Mohr; Officers Joseph Taylor, Jeffrey Jackson, Leslie Hall, Joseph Petro, Scott Williamson, Donald Scott, Scott Mills, Jeffrey Lepiarz, Charles Turner, Tyson Coates, Dan Wagner, Bill Hensley, Rodolfo Garcia, and Patrick Sutherland, and Detectives Jeremy Carey, Kenneth DeWitt and Roy Kennedy.

• Professional Service: Lieutenants Cheryl Hunt, Brian Twining, Dan Gerken and Michael Troendle; Sergeants Jeff Pachell, Richard Hoover, Edward Mack, Ashley Nichols, William Shaner, and Dan Ray; Detectives Nora Mugler, Alexander Schaller, Pete Siwa, Pete Swartz, Kenneth DeWitt, William Goodlet, and Timothy Rutkowski; Officers Andre Antoine, Michael Breeze, Lawrence Demski, Brian Gaylord, Patricia Gomez, Herbert Higgins, Mark Johnson, Paul Marchyok, Michelle Price, Clarence Young, David Baertschi, Beth Cooley, Barbara Hunter, Roger Minnich, Scott Sterling, and Ronald Wilcox; and civilian employees Ellen Gorski and Erica McCloud of the records bureau, and Lori Heath and Susan Schick of the personnel and public affairs bureau.



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