30,000 honor fallen officers, including Justin Leo

Staff report


As part of National Police Week this year, the names of 129 law-enforcement officers killed in 2017, as well as 231 officers who died in prior years, were formally dedicated on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, on Sunday during the 30th Annual Candlelight Vigil.

An estimated 30,000 people attended the vigil, at which U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions gave the keynote address.

Among those honored was Girard policeman, Patrolman Justin Leo, 31, who was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call on Oct 21, 2017.

Patrolman Leo’s Memorial Panel is thus inscribed:

Officer Rank: Patrolman.

Memorial Panel: 23-W: 31.

Department: Girard, Ohio, P.D.

End of Watch: October 21, 2017.

Cause: Shot.

Age: 31.

Years of Service: 5.

Description: Patrolman Leo was shot and killed while responding to a domestic disturbance call. The suspect was impaired and known to have firearms inside the home. When the officers arrived on the scene, there was a brief conversation between the officers and a male suspect who produced a handgun and shot Patrolman Leo. Another officer returned fire and killed the suspect. Patrolman Leo was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries.

Established in 1984, the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is a private nonprofit organization dedicated to telling the story of American law enforcement and making it safer for those who serve. The Memorial Fund maintains the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, DC, which contains the names of 21,541 officers who have died in the line of duty throughout U.S. history.


In conjunction with police week, federal law requires American flags be flown at half-staff Tuesday, National Peace Officers Memorial Day, in tribute to all officers who made the ultimate sacrifice.

This tribute to American law-enforcement officers is part of the historic crime bill that President Bill Clinton signed into law in 1994.

At the request of the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Public Law 103-322 designates Peace Officers Memorial Day as one of only two days each year during which government agencies, businesses and residents are to fly their U.S. flags at half-staff, said Craig W. Floyd, Memorial Fund chief executive officer.

“Our officers deserve the respect of the communities and country they keep safe. And we will do our part by lowering the flags at the Memorial,” Floyd said.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial Day and the calendar week in which May 15 falls as National Police Week throughout the United States.

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