National Police Week begins with ceremony, parade at Fountain Square

CINCINNATI - A more than 50-year-old tradition of honoring police officers who've died in the line of duty continued Monday with a parade and series of ceremonies at Fountain Square.

As they've done since 1962, members of law enforcement agencies from across the country came together to recognize the dedication of peace officers and to honor those killed in the line of duty as part of National Police Week.

PHOTO GALLERY: Police parade and memorial ceremony

The week kicked off locally with the 47th annual awards banquet at F.O.P. Queen City Lodge No. 69 on Central Parkway. The event bestowed recognition on officers (and two civilians) for their work in the community in areas ranging from acts of bravery to general leadership.

Peace Officers Memorial Day is honored nationally on May 15.

Public ceremonies and events will be held throughout the rest of the week, beginning Monday with a service and parade at Fountain Square.

Dozens of Hamilton County law enforcement agencies and organizations are expected to attend the afternoon-long event along with family and friends of the officers, and appreciative residents of the various communities.

Events in downtown Cincinnati began at 11 a.m. with the assembled Honor Guards’ call to order, the national anthem and the keynote speaker, Hamilton County coroner  Dr. Lakshmi K. Sammarco,

At the conclusion of the Fountain Square program, the parade formed with members of all area law enforcement agencies, their families, friends and supporters marching north on Vine Street to Central Parkway and west on Central Parkway to Ezzard Charles Drive and the Police Memorial.

Every aspect of the ceremonies underlines the themes of patriotism, service and dedication to duty, according to organizers of the event.

The City of Mason also commemorated National Law Enforcement Week by conducting a short ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Monday in the atrium of Mason Municipal Center. 

During the week of May 12, all Mason police officers will wear a black band across their badges in memory of all the law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty.

In addition to celebrating the memories of those lost in the line of duty, Police Memorial Week also serves as a chance for local police forces to reach out to the community.

In Cincinnati, each of the police districts allows citizens to meet the officers who work in their neighborhoods and to learn about some of the specialized units such as canine patrol and detection teams, Segway and bike patrol, and the Special Weapons and Tactics team. 

The schedule for open houses at the Districts is as follows:

  • Monday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in District 1 and CBS
  • Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in District 2
  • Wednesday from  9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in District 3
  • Thursday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in District 4
  • Friday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. in District 5

You can find out more information about the event on the city of Cincinnati's website

List of Award Honorees Are listed below:

ACT OF BRAVERY:  Officer Nicholas Hoevel of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office and Lieutenant Tom Ostendarp of the Mariemont Police Department

CONTRIBUTION TO LAW ENFORCEMENT:  Cincinnati Police Department’s Fugitive Apprehension Squad:  Specialist Timothy Bley, Specialist Daniel Cavanaugh, Officer Robert Ahlers, Officer Scott Bode and Officer Amber Bolte

OUTSTANDING JOB OF TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT/EDUCATION:  Lieutenant Rick Neville, Lieutenant Tory Smith, Lieutenant Tony Orue, Sergeant Mike Tarr, Corporal Brian Shepherd, Corporal Pete Prybal, Corporal Cyndi Zoellner, Corporal Mike Stenger, Corporal Tom Lange, Corporal Randy Bernhardt, Officer Jerry Brandhorst, Officer Caroline Kotlas, Officer Josh Fey, and Officer Vanessa Lee of the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office; and Officer Mark Meyer and Officer Patrick Quinn of Colerain Township Police Department

BEST OVERALL INVESTIGATIVE JOB LEADING TO THE SOLUTION OF CRIME:  Supervisory Special Agent Douglas A. Williams, Special Agent Christopher Giordano, Special Agent Lance Rollins, Special Agent Christopher Brest, and Special Agent James R. Whalen of the FBI; Assistant US Attorney Karl Kadon; Sergeant George Pille, Officer Craig Copenhaver, Officer Jason O’Brien, and Officer Derrick Edwards of the Cincinnati Police Department

SUPERIOR ACHIEVEMENT IN POLICE LEADERSHIP:  Sergeant Daniel Hils of the Cincinnati Police Department

MOST CONSTRUCTIVE PLANS/IDEAS TO IMPROVE POLICE OPERATIONS:  Hamilton County Sheriff Jim Neil

OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE IN DAILY OPERATIONS:  Officer Michael Rees of the Cincinnati Police Department

CITIZEN AWARD:  Mr. Jim Emig and Ms. Lisa McDonald

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