The City of Cuyahoga Falls will host the annual Peace Officers Memorial Service to pay tribute to fallen officers and those who have served, on Wednesday, May 18, at 10:00 a.m. at the Police Memorial, located at the Cuyahoga Falls Civic Center Campus, 2310 2nd Street. Stow Municipal Court Judge Lisa Coates will deliver the Keynote Address.

“This service is a tribute to past, present, and future officers who have dedicated their lives in service to their community and country,” stated Steve Amos, Chairman of the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation (CFSLPMF).  

“We are thankful to the men and women of the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department who faithfully serve and protect our community every day,” stated Mayor Don Walters. “I am proud of the professionalism of our officers, both past and present, and their commitment and dedication to Cuyahoga Falls.”

This year, 16 names will be inscribed, including Carl Harrison (Silver Lake 2019), Donald S. Smith (2019), Charles R. Elum (2020), Donald P. Kirthart (2020), Richard N. Simmons (2020), Thomas L. Tomlinson (2020), Robert A. Peters (2020), Dennis A. Rook (Silver Lake 2021), Julius P. Heil (2021), Michael Gay (2021), Lawrence McCormick (2021), and Charles H. Bilbrey (2021). In addition, through historical research by the CFSLPMF, four names will be engraved that meet modern-day memorial foundation guidelines: Thomas Watson (1942), Clyde Whittington (1943), Horace Simms (1949), and Larry Wilson (1983). Additionally, the CFSLPMF will add an image of the memorial flag to an electrical box at the memorial site.

The Cuyahoga Falls Police Department marks its 100th year of service to the community in 2022. Formed on January 12, 1922, the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department was the first fully paid police force assigned to serve and protect the city’s residents. One of the department’s first officers, Westor J. Watson, served the community for 23 years, from 1920 to 1943.  Relatives of Mr. Watson, whose name was added to the memorial in 2019, will travel from Florida to attend the memorial ceremony on May 18.

Attendees are invited to attend a reception following the ceremony at the Cuyahoga Falls Natatorium, where a display curated by the Cuyahoga Falls Historical Society will be on display.

In August 2012, the Police Memorial was dedicated in the City of Cuyahoga Falls to honor the men and women of the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Departments. Annually, during National Police Week, a service is held to remember and honor fallen officers. The 2022 National Police Week will be observed from Sunday, May 15, through Saturday, May 21.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week. Every year, tens of thousands of law enforcement officers from all over the country come together to remember and honor those officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.

The Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation asks the public to show their support for their local law enforcement officers by displaying black and blue ribbons or flying a police memorial flag during the week. Memorial flags may be purchased from Falls Flag and Banner, with donations from each sale going to the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation. With the support of city officials from both Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake, more than 230 police memorial flags and banners will fly over city streets and other public buildings. Schools, businesses, and private residents will also be flying the flag. The Foundation believes this is one of the country’s largest police memorial flag displays.

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