CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Services will be held Thursday for the 39-year-old Cincinnati police sergeant who died at home last week after suffering a fatal brain aneurysm.
Eric Sierra was alone with his twin first-grade sons, Nick and Nate Sierra, when he collapsed Saturday. He also leaves behind a daughter, Megan, and wife, Lisa.
Visitation will be 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Thursday at Miami Whitewater United Methodist Church, 9700 Dry Fork Rd., Harrison.
An FOP service is scheduled for 12:15 p.m.
Sgt. Sierra's funeral mass will follow by 1:30 p.m. at St. John the Baptist Church, 509 Harrison Ave., Harrison.
The police veteran who joined the department 14 years ago was highly praised by police officials, beloved by his fellow officers and appreciated by residents whose neighborhoods he worked hard to keep safe.
"Sgt. Sierra served with distinction in every endeavor he undertook and rated by his superiors as exceeding standards or exceptional in every trait on annual ratings," said retired Cincinnati Police Lt. Steve Kramer, president of the historical society. "In less than 15 years, he received 17 letters of appreciation and/or commendation; including three from police chiefs and one from a bureau commander for arrests."
Sgt. Sierra was born Jan. 4, 1975, to Phillip and Denise Sierra. He attended school in Harrison, Ohio, before transferring to and graduating from Providence High School in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1993.
From 1993 to 1996, he attended the University of Cincinnati, Raymond Walters Branch, majoring in business administration with a minor in sales marketing.
Beginning in 1996, Eric worked as a sales representative for Bill Woeste Chevrolet in its sales and service departments, The Paperworks, Lee Brown Auto Center, and Trader Publishing.
He joined Cincinnati police just days after his 25th birthday in 2000. On June 16 of that year, he took the oath of office and his uncle, retired Sgt. Mark Hasenohr, pinned Badge #657 on his chest.
As an officer, Sierra was first assigned to District 1 and transferred to District 5 on July 8, 2001. He was assigned to the District 5 Violent Crimes Squad on December 23, 2003 and transferred to the Vice Enforcement Unit March 13, 2005.
On July 29, 2007, he was promoted to sergeant and moved to District 3. Sergeant Sierra took charge of the District 3 Violent Crimes Squad on March 23, 2008. Four years after that he commanded the District 3 Neighborhood Liaison Unit.
Several citizens and supervisors praised him for his work in neighborhoods, including Northside, East Price Hill, and West Price Hill; including one for his involvement in more than 100 arrests in Price Hill. During 2013 he was awarded an Exemplary Conduct Award. Later that year, he was awarded a Safe Driving Award for having had no auto accidents in his career.
In addition to his wife, children and parents, Sgt. Sierra also is survived by siblings, Joe Sierra, Lisa Jacobs, and Michelle Sierra.
Memorials: "Eric Sierra's Children Fund", c/o Cincinnati Police Federal Credit Union, 959 W. 8th Street, Suite 101, Cincinnati, OH 45203-1203.