Boardman community mobilizes to honor Heather Dobbins

Trustees honor Dobbins with proclamation

By Jessica Hardin


Stories of late police officer Heather Dobbins’ service to the community flooded social media in the wake of her unexpected death Friday.

Dobbins, 40, died suddenly at the Cleveland Clinic after serving the department for 16 years. She had been suffering from a brain tumor.

“It’s no surprise the number of positive stories we are hearing from people around the community who interacted with Heather over the years,” said police Chief Todd Werth. “She was a dedicated officer who had a positive impact on peoples’ lives.”

Officer Daryn Tallman, Dobbins’ co-worker and friend, echoed Werth’s sentiments.

“We are getting all kinds of supportive messages about how she affected people’s lives. ... It really fills your heart with love that she had that effect,” Tallman said.

Boardman Township trustees honored Dobbins with a proclamation at their Monday meeting.

“We retire her Boardman Police Department unit number 2030 in memory of her friendship, selflessness and kindness,” read Trustee Tom Costello. The proclamation was followed by a moment of silence.

“We went through the police academy together and hit it off instantly. ... Everything she did, she gave it 100 percent. I will truly miss her. I’m going to keep her alive in my thoughts,” said Mahoning County deputy sheriff Bahia Algahmee, Dobbins’ close friend.

The police department will remember Dobbins not only as a devoted co-worker, but also as a loving mother.

“The thing that really stands out and that I will really remember about Heather most recently is her being such a good mother to her 6-year-old daughter, Olivia. When Heather came into the PD off-duty, she’d always have this little ‘mini-me’ in tow with her, this perfect little version of her right beside her,” said Lt. John Allsop.

“Olivia was literally Heather’s life,” said Tallman.

Boardman Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 43 is creating a trust for Olivia, which she can access when she turns 18.

“It’s something we can contribute to not only from the community, but we’re going to get our members and township employees to contribute through payroll,” said Tallman.

Dobbins, formerly of Salem and a 1996 graduate of Salem High School, received a criminal justice degree from Youngstown State University and enrolled in the Youngstown Police Academy. She also received a bachelor’s degree in education, also from YSU.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday in St. Paul Catholic Church.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the scholarship trust fund for Olivia.

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