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YPD unveils memorial wall

Published: Sun, September 30, 2012 @ 12:07 a.m.

By John W. Goodwin Jr.



The Youngstown Police Department has lost a dozen officers since its inception in the 19th century.

None of those fallen officers has been forgotten, and now their photographs are a permanent part of the department.

On the far back wall of the second-floor roll-call room, where officers gather daily to receive pertinent information before patrolling city streets, are the pictures of 12 men illuminated constantly by soft light. Each photo is accompanied by a short description of the events leading to his demise.

The photos begin with Officer William Freed, who was killed in 1891.

Police Chief Rod Foley said the memorial serves a dual purpose.

“We wanted to make sure that these officers are not forgotten, and it serves as a reminder to be as safe as you can out there [on the streets] because there are people out there not willing to go to jail,” he said.

The idea to create the memorial wall was born in a conversation between Detective Sgt. Cindy Dellick and Sgt. Zaida Miranda two years ago. Dellick said Miranda came up with the idea after seeing it done at other departments.

“She [Miranda] said to me that when you go to other departments, they have pictures of all their fallen officers. I said, ‘That is a good idea. Let’s get it going,’” Dellick said.

The officers embarked on a two-year fundraising and information-gathering campaign. Time was divided between searching Vindicator archives for photographs and information on the fallen officers and selling T-shirts and key chains to cover the costs.

Dellick said although the memorial is in the roll-call room, which is not seen by the general public, it still is important to the community at large. She said the last five officers on the wall, the most recent to be killed in the line of duty, still have family in the area who come to many police functions and memorials.

“We really worked hard at this,” she said. “We wanted people to know that we didn’t forget about them. This has been all about them.”

The last five officers listed on the wall are Frank Cichon, who was killed in 1963; Ralph DeSalle, who was killed in 1984; Paul Durkin, who was killed in 1987; Millard Williams, who was killed in 1992; and Michael Hartzell, killed in 2003.

“It’s just heartbreaking,” Dellick added. “Nobody wants to be on that wall, and we don’t want to add to it.”


1Ralphie(32 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

Since you're so worried about these Officers wasting their time on this memorial wall... You'll be glad to know all the work was done on their own time with much of their own money. I guess some money is "wasted" in electric since there is several small lights above the display. Maybe someone can address council to get the lights removed to save money.

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2kensgirl(1061 comments)posted 3 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe someone (first comment) had the nerve to criticize this great tribute to Y.P.D.'s fallen officers. Only another officer understands what it means to give up a brother in the line of duty. I personally knew 3 of these men who devoted their lives to police work. Their loss will forever be felt by their families and the community. Great job to the policewomen who did this. God bless you and God bless the souls of the men who made the greatest sacrifice.

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3standupcitizen(5 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Of the five most recent, two were accidental deaths due to car accidents, one due to a drunk driving accident, and two due to shootings. It appears it is more likely to die from an accident than from a violent attack and yet the quote from Police Chief Foley is, “We wanted to make sure that these officers are not forgotten, and it serves as a reminder to be as safe as you can out there [on the streets] because there are people out there not willing to go to jail,” he said.

While he is correct that there are people who are not willing to go to jail and I have every respect for police officers who put their lives in danger, it is misleading to state in regard to the memorial that it is a reminder of people who are not willing to go to jail because the deaths are not primarily due to people who were not willing to go to jail. They were due to accidents (one of them a criminal accident and clearly wrong as a person should not drive drunk and take someone's life, but not of the same category as a violent act aimed at someone).

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4standupcitizen(5 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It is strange that you are so defensive about a reasonable observation of fact. The numbers of each type of death speak for themselves and contradict the Chief's statement. And you might consider coming up with a better retort than the very lame "Loser, get a life," comment.

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5misterlee(118 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

It doesn't matter how they lost their lives. They died protecting the citizens of our city. Why do you have to write off traffic accidents as not worthy of remembrance?

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6standupcitizen(5 comments)posted 3 years, 9 months ago

Misterlee, I am not writing anything off. I am pointing this out -

A) The chief indicated that these deaths are a reminder that "there are people out there who do not want to go to jail." He was saying that people who do not want to go to jail are the source of the deaths.

B) However, the recent deaths are not primarily due to people who do not want to go to jail. They are primarily due to other sources of death.

This struck me as an odd contradiction.

All of death is worthy of remembrance and I applaud the memorial. I simply noted this strange mismatch.

YBR - I was only referring to the last 5 because the article listed the last 5 at the end. It is the article that highlighted those and I did not have a full list to be able to look up their names. Can you post the link to the full 12 so I can evaluate it myself or are you too busy calling me names because you cannot string together a logical argument?

If you calculated correctly, then 7 out of 12 is 58% of deaths due to violence but it is still striking that 42% of the deaths are NOT due to violent intent. So no, the chief's point about the deaths being from people who are not willing to go to jail is not "spot on" as you state. You might consider taking a statistics class.

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