5 Dayton-area officers who died in the line of duty

“Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.”

Each year the community honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. 

During the month of May, National Peace Officers Memorial Day (May 15), founded in 1962 by President John F. Kennedy, and National Police Week are commemorated.

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Dayton Police officers lower their head during the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony held on Courthouse Square in downtown Dayton. Jim Noelker/Dayton Daily News
Photo: Jim Noelker

Locally, the Montgomery County Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Ceremony honors the 38 law enforcement officers who have died while on the job. 

Here is a look at some of the fallen officers who gave their lives to keep the peace and protect the community:  

Law enforcement officers salute the flag during the 2007 Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony on Courthouse Square.
Photo: Ty Greenlees/Ty Greenlees

Lee Lynam, a patrolman with the Dayton Police Department, is the earliest local death that occurred during the line of duty. 

On Jan. 7, 1880 Lynam arrested a suspect who was released later the same day after being “told to behave,” according to the Officer Down Memorial Page. 

The suspect tracked the officer to a café on East Third Street and shot and killed him. He was later apprehended. 

Lynam was survived by his wife and five children and is buried in Woodland Cemetery and Arboretum.

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Five Rivers MetroParks Officer Deanna Flaugher lead a riderless horse at the 8th annual Montgomery County Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony Friday in Dayton. The event honors the 38 Montgomery County law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. LISA POWELL / STAFF
Photo: Lisa Powell

Frederick Beard with the West Carrollton Police Department was 35 when he was killed in 1983 during pursuit of a robbery suspect. 

The suspect stopped his vehicle on I-75, and as Patrolman Beard stepped out of his patrol car, he was struck by a tractor trailer. 

In 2012 fellow officer, Sgt. Keith Leach, with the Moraine Police Department, wrote a heartfelt dedication to Beard. 

“It's been almost 30 years and it seems like yesterday. You were an outstanding police officer and a true friend. I can't remember how many times we backed each other up, but you always took care of me. I have prayed for your family over the years and hope they have found some peace. I miss you, buddy, and I know we'll see each other again. God bless you.” 

Dayton Police Officer Mary Beall
Photo: handout

Mary Beall had been with the Dayton Police Department for three years when she was shot in 2000. 

Beall and other officers responded to a call of a man firing a gun at his girlfriend. While attempting to talk the man into surrendering, Beall was shot in the neck, leaving her paralyzed. 

Officer Beall died in 2002 from an infection directly related to the shooting. 

An anonymous post from a former co-worker paid tribute to Beall on the Officer Down Memorial Page:

“Nothing has had a greater impact on me in my entire law enforcement career. Mary was a beautiful person and great mother. I salute her devoted husband, John, and his distinguished law enforcement career in the face of this horrible event. I hope and pray that your family is well and I know you are watching over us all now.” 

A procession of Dayton Police officers are greeted by students from Temple Christian as they walk to the RiverScape pavilion  to honor the Montgomery County law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. JIM WITMER/STAFF

James Lee Mobley of the Dayton Police Department was shot and killed while responding with his partner to a stabbing call in 1970. 

The officers placed a suspect in the back of their car, and the suspect later used a handgun he had tucked away to shoot both officers in the back. 

Mobley, a 22-year-old who wore badge No. 150, was fatally shot. His partner, who returned fire and seriously wounded the suspect, recovered.

Retired patrolman Michael Sabrowski wrote a tribute on a memorial page.

“I graduated from the academy with Jim. I remember our graduation and how proud and happy he was. I also remember sitting in patrol assembly and hearing his call for assistance. I was one of the officers who carried him to his final resting place, I will always remember the feel of the handle in my hand. Jim was a fine man who left us too soon.”

Photo: Chris Stewart/Dayton Daily News

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William A. Aldridge with the Jefferson Township Police Department died in 1977 while directing traffic at Dayton-Liberty and Union Roads. 

The driver of the vehicle was high on drugs when the accident occurred that killed the officer who had eight years with the department. 

“To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past,” wrote Phillis Lasater Loy, the mother of fallen Pittsburg, Calif., officer Larry Lasater in 2013. 

“Your heroism and service is honored today, the 36th anniversary year of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service.”

For more historical information about the Dayton Police Department: Dayton Police History Foundation

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