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Attorney General DeWine, Ohio Law Enforcement Officers Honor 766 Killed in the Line of Duty


(LONDON, Ohio)  Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and law enforcement officers from throughout the state gathered today for the annual Ohio Peace Officers' Memorial Ceremony to honor the 766 Ohio peace officers who have died in the line of duty since 1823.

"The life stories of these officers are each unique, but their stories also share themes common to those of peace officers everywhere," said Attorney General DeWine.  "They embraced their oath of service with courage, clarity, and conviction.  They also understood that at any time they could be called upon to lay down their lives for those they promised to protect."

Among those honored today include Akron Police Officer Justin Winebrenner, who was shot and killed on November 16, 2014.

Officer Winebrenner was off-duty at an establishment with family and friends when an individual began shooting inside the Akron business.  Officer Winebrenner was able to force the suspect outside of the building, but was shot in the chest and abdomen during the struggle.  Several others were wounded, and a suspect was arrested a short time later.

In addition to Officer Winebrenner, three historical inductees were honored after research discovered that they had made the ultimate sacrifice for their communities in the past.

The historical inductees include:

Assistant Marshal Albert Schmitt, Cheviot Police Department: Assistant Marshal Schmitt was fatally injured when the motorcycle he was driving crashed after one of the speeding motorists he was chasing intentionally collided with him, forcing him to be thrown into a tree. He died from those injuries the day after the accident on May 28, 1921.

Sheriff Forest S. Hager, Union County Sheriff's Office: On September 23, 1927, Sheriff Hager was killed in a train crash when his vehicle was struck at a railroad crossing as he was serving papers. Sheriff Hager spent most of his life as a farmer and served as a guard at the State Penitentiary in Columbus. He was known to everyone as being strictly honest and industrious.

Trooper Michael A. Paris Sr., Ohio State Highway Patrol: On August 1, 2012, Trooper Paris conducted a traffic stop of a very aggressive driver. The driver became very belligerent and rude with Trooper Paris, to the point that he thought the driver was going to fight him. A short time after the incident, Trooper Paris began to suffer chest pain. Upon the EMS unit’s arrival, he became unconscious and passed away from a heart attack. He was a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and served the Ohio State Highway Patrol for 21 years. Trooper Paris was a team leader for OSP’s Special Response Team, a member of the Color/Honor Guard, and served as an instructor at OSP.

The names of the fallen officers honored today have been added to the Ohio Fallen Officers' Memorial Wall, which stands as a lasting tribute to Ohio's 766 officers who gave their lives for their communities since 1823.  The wall is located at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Ohio, where today's ceremony was held.


Media Contacts:

Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840
Jill Del Greco: 614-466-3840

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