WESTERVILLE, OH (WCMH) – Chaplain James Meacham describes Officer Eric Joering and Officer Anthony Morelli both as heroes and family men.
“Right now my heart is aching. I did really good until we got down to the morgue to wheel the bodies out. I lost it with the families. We all did,” said Chaplain Meacham.
Officer Joering was recognized three times with the exceptional duty award. At 39-years-old, he served the Westerville Division of Police and community for 16 years.
Chaplain Meacham said he’s known Ofc. Joering since he started on the police force.
“I say they’re my babies. I’m like their grandpa, to just be here for them and love on them and they love on me and that makes such a wonderful team,” he said. “We stand there for each other.”
The people of Westerville are also standing with these officers and their families.
“If you’ve grown up in Westerville you know all of these officers. You see them all the time,” said Tiffany Schafer. “It’s just heartbreaking.”
Chaplain Meacham had the difficult task of telling Ofc. Joering’s family what had happened.
“When I went up to the house to tell the family that daddy had been shot… that he had died, they brought Sam in and that helped the girls a lot to have the dog there,” he said.
K9 Sam was Ofc. Joering’s partner, now bringing comfort to his family.
“He’s just a great man. He has daughters that are just to die for. He was a K9 officer. He loved what he did. He was so excited to become a K9 officer,” said Chaplain Meacham. “They are to me and this city, our heroes.”