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CUYAHOGA FALLS — A crowd of nearly 500 people was called upon to remember fallen police officers and “do something that matters” by the keynote speaker for the police memorial service.
Four police officers were remembered on May 17 during the annual ceremony at the police memorial site on the Cuyahoga Falls Civic Center Campus between the municipal building and the Natatorium. Three died last year and one was killed 70 years ago.
Each year, the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation hosts a memorial service during Police Week to honor the memory of deceased officers and add the names of officers who passed away during the previous year to the memorial location.
In 2016, three former Cuyahoga Falls police officers died: Louis A. Dirker II on Feb. 6, 2016; Gerald D. Archer on Dec. 13, 2016; and Robert E. Kidd on Dec. 30, 2016.
In addition, this year marked the 70th anniversary of the death of Patrolman Clarence Chance, the first Cuyahoga Falls officer killed in the line of duty. Mr. Chance died on May 30, 1947, when a car pulled out in front of his motorcycle while he was in pursuit of a speeder.
“Let’s remember these men,” said Stow Municipal Court Judge Kim Hoover, who was this year’s keynote speaker. “Let’s remember what they stood for. And let's vow ourselves to do something that matters to the rest of the world, not just to ourselves.”
This year’s ceremony was attended by a record number of people. Retired Cuyahoga Falls Police officer Steve Amos of the Police Memorial Foundation estimated 450 to 500 people turned out for the event. Those who received invitations included members of the Stow Police Department, he said. The late Louis Dirker was chief of Stow Police for 11 years after serving as chief of Cuyahoga Falls Police for two years. Mr. Dirker served with the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department from 1974 to 2001. He retired from the Stow Police Department in 2014.
Mr. Archer served on the Falls Police Department for nearly 12 years, retiring in 1980. He had served in the U.S. Navy during the Vietnam War and was a Summit County Deputy Sheriff prior to joining Cuyahoga Falls PD. Mr. Archer started the department’s Law Enforcement Explorer program.
Mr. Kidd joined the Northampton Police Department in 1972, reaching the rank of sergeant. He became a Cuyahoga Falls Police officer in 1986 when the city merged with the township. He retired in 1989.
See the May 21 edition of the Cuyahoga Falls News-Press for the complete story.