Poland Township holds service to remember fallen officers.

POLAND — Township police Chief Greg Wilson and his department decided to mark the township’s first National Peace Officers Memorial Day service on Wednesday. The ceremony memorialized two Poland Township officers who died in the line of duty.

Each year May 15 offers a chance to remember fallen officers. It was first proclaimed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962 as a way to tribute officers who died while serving their communities.

Patrolman Richard Becker was shot and killed near a bar on state Route 170 on Nov. 6, 1983, and Patrolman Charles K. Yates suffered a heart attack March 30, 1984, after a struggle with a drunken driver.

“We don’t have a huge department, but to lose two officers in the line of duty in less than a year is hard,” Poland Township Administrator Mark Covell said.

As part of the tribute to Poland’s fallen officers, plaques were ordered and displayed during the ceremony.

“We have these plaques that will be mounted on the walls of the Poland Township Police Department,” Wilson said. “Every day, every shift we will all walk past these plaques and remember.”

The ceremony included pastors from New Life and Holy Family churches in Poland, and Jessica Martin sang the national anthem.

The honor guard from American Legion Post 15 took part and performed a triple volley to honor Becker and Yates, followed by taps played by Legion member Rod Hosler.

Bagpipers from the Ohio Highway Patrol and Youngstown State University police closed the ceremony. Trooper Nicholas Cayton and Sgt. Steve Murphy from the Ohio Highway Patrol and dispatcher Adam Guerrieri from the YSU Police Department played “Amazing Grace.” Guerrieri then played a fading verse as he walked down the drive at Township Hall and away from the service.

Wilson said the event will be held annually on May 15.


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