Just days ahead of National Law Enforcement Week, The City of Dublin held its annual Police Memorial Service Friday afternoon. The service honors all officers killed in the line of duty but particularly those in Franklin, Delaware and Union counties.
The names of 34 officers were read recognizing those killed in the line of duty since 1976.
Already this year more than 50 officers have died in the line of duty across the country, more than half of them by gunfire. Two of those were Westerville police officers Eric Joering and Tony Morelli, killed Feb 10 while responding to a domestic violence call.
Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer was the guest speaker at the Dublin memorial service. He offered thanks to officers from Dublin and many other departments who stepped in to help Westerville. He also said the community support was overwhelming – in a good way. “We had officers from Los Angeles say they’d never seen a funeral procession like the one that was held in Westerville.”
Dublin Police Chief Heinz von Eckartsberg said the law enforcement community at-large found hope in the show of public support in Westerville. “It truly allowed many of us to feel that despite the evil that would allow this heinous act to occur, there’s still more good than bad, more love than hate and more support than ever,” von Eckartsberg said.
Angie McDowell, whose husband Terry was shot and killed while serving a traffic citation in Whitehall in 2001, attended the Dublin memorial service. She said she appreciates the effort made every year to remember. “The fact that the community and the police department still go out of their way to show support, their gratitude for their loss, it’s very humbling,” McDowell said.