He asked that the family of those lost, especially younger family members to remember their loved one did a special, vital and heroic job.
“We know that victories over evil does not come easily,” Yost said. “We know that cost is high. We gather every May for the accounting of that loss.”
Yost also discussed criticism of law enforcement agencies and calls to abolish police departments.
While law enforcement is a human institution and therefore capable of making mistakes, it should not take away from the officers who serve and protect Ohioans each day.
“That does not make the mission of justice less important. It makes it more important,” Yost said. “We do not dishonor the victims of injustice by honoring the victims of justice.”
The ceremony included the reading of the names of every officer who died in the line of duty in 2019 and 2020, as well as a helicopter flyover and bagpipe procession with cruisers and officers mounted on horses. An American flag with a black ribbon was unfurled in memory of each officer.
The annual ceremony honored officers who died in 2019 and 2020. Last year’s event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but families and agencies of officers who died in 2019 were offered a private ceremony.
Among those honored Thursday were:
- William L. Brewer Jr., Clermont County Sheriff’s Office
- Jorge R. DelRio, Dayton Police Department
- Anthony Dia, Toledo Police Department
- Kaia LaFay Grant, Springdale Police Department
- Adam McMillan, Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office
- James M. Skemivitz, Cleveland Police Department
- Dale J. Woods, Colerain Township Police Department
The event also included three historical inductions:
- Patrolman Charles William Giles, Ironton Police Department, End of Watch: Nov. 26, 1988,
- Officer Claude McCormick, Oakwood Public Safety Department, End of Watch: Aug. 29, 1933
- Special Policeman William T. Hyatt, Wellsville Police Department, End of Watch: Feb. 25, 1923
Sine 1823, 809 Ohio peace officers have been killed in the line of duty, according to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office.