LONDON, Ohio (WDTN) – A ceremony at the Ohio Peace Officers Training Academy in London, honored several officers who died in the line of duty.
There are 809 names of officers dating as far back as 1823. Thursday, ten more names were added. Seven officers had recently died between 2019 and 2020. Three officers were added as historic inductions, including Claude McCormick of the Oakwood Public Safety Department who died in 1933.
Family and loved ones of the officers were invited to participate in Thursday’s ceremony.
“It’s probably been quite some time since they lost their loved one but you never really ever get over something like this and you never forget,” said Major Brian Johns, a Dayton PD officer and former partner of Detective Jorge Del Rio.
Del Rio, who was killed in 2019, was honored at the ceremony. Attorney General Dave Yost commended him for his efforts to protect Montgomery County and the state of Ohio at large.
“His example is not just huge to his fellow officers, but also to all of us who feel like the problems are too big,” said Yost. “He never felt the problem was too big he kept working and pushing back.”
In his speech during the memorial ceremonies, Yost also addressed recent tensions between law enforcement officials and the communities they serve
“We cannot confuse the disagreements we have and the human error that happens with enmity, we are not enemies,” said Yost.
He emphasized that community policing is important for keeping Ohioans safe
“Communities are not statistics. they’re not crime rates, they’re not addresses…they’re people. By knowing the community, there’s greater understanding on both sides and better policing that’s more safe,” he said.
Del Rio’s name is now permanently etched in stone on the memorial with the 800 others, as a reminder of law enforcement officers’ sacrifices.
“It reminds us that each life is precious, each and every life has a story behind it and a value,” said Yost.
“It’s also a positive thing that we’re saying ‘thank you’ and even during these tough times we’ll keep doing what we’re supposed to do to help the community and people out,” said Major Johns.
For more on Detective Del Rio’s memorial and how the Miami Valley is honoring him, click here.