Police Memorial Week kicks off in Cincinnati

It's an emotional time for Cincinnati Police Officers, their families and the families whose loved ones lost their lives in the line of duty.

It's Police Memorial Week.

Hundreds marched through downtown Cincinnati Monday in support of our fallen heroes and stood guard at the Police Memorial where an eternal flame burns in their memory.

Even canine officers got a nod. Those who have taken bullets that were intended for their commanding officers.

Cincinnati firefighters saluted the men and women as they marched to District One, with criss-crossed ladders near the Policemen's Memorial.

People marched underneath, then gathered to celebrate those who have served, so we never forget.

"The one thing that I can say as FOP President," Said Kathy Harrell of Of Queen City Lodge #69. "Is the City if Cincinnati has great support from it's citizens, we see that each and every day, we see the excellent training that our offices receive. Since I've been the President since 2005, we've had numerous officers shot, and luckily we've not had an officer killed in the City of Cincinnati."

Hundreds of people listened as the names of their fallen loved ones were read. There were also dozens of white crosses for each of the fallen men and women in the grass right in front of the monument.

The events actually started over on Fountain Square and then the crowd processed over to the memorial.

Patrolman David Cole was killed 37 years ago.

"I was home," his widow Cheryl Cole Candelaresi said. "Dave was working 3rd relief."

And on a Tuesday night, Cheryl said David had responded to a robbery call.

"He was on approximately 5 years," said his father James Cole. "When he was shot and killed up in Walnut Hills."

David was 24 and had served only 5 years. His father, James, who was also on the force, had served 28 years.

"Terrible," in a word, is how the news felt then and even now to David's father and family.

"Couldn't believe it really," Cole said.

The loss of his son still stings. He placed flowers at the base of the Policeman's Memorial for his son. He described, in detail, how his son was killed that July night.

"And he went up Florence Avenue," Cole said. "And the two fellows came out, when one police car came down and they hid, another police car come up and Dave come up, and there's no place for them to hide, and he stopped in the middle of the street and they fired right over the tailgate of the car."

That was the last time Cheryl saw her young husband alive.

"I looked out the window and I seen all these police cars and I didn't want to open the door because I knew," she said.

"I just had a feeling I knew why they were there," she said.

Even as she grabbed the door handle, to open the door to them, she could not believe it.

"It hadn't happened in years, (a policeman getting shot in Cincinnati) years, years," she said. "We had talked about it, that it could happen."

But said you are never prepared enough to hear the worst kind of news.

It's the risk Cincinnati Police Officers take every day they step out the door to serve.

Cheryl snapped a picture of her and David's memorial brick on the floor of the monument.

The memory of the events there are stamped forever on that brick and in her mind, of that July night back in 1974.

"Well, it's kind of bittersweet," she said. "It's hard to think that, you know, we're here for the reason we are, but yet it's so gratifying to see that he's not been forgotten, along with the other officers, that they have not been forgotten."

James Cole said one of the men connected to his son's killing, has been released from prison and disappeared somewhere on the West Coast, as far as they know right now.

Cole said anyone who shoots and kills a cop, should be put away for life, or worse, they too, should have to pay the ultimate price.

Construction on the memorial began in 1988, with support from the Fraternal Order of Police, Queen City Lodge #69 and donations from the public and police officers.

The memorial was dedicated in 1990. The statue of the police officer was made by local sculptor Kenneth Bradford.

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