CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Local heroes who put their lives on the line while protecting others were honored Friday during the annual Police Memorial to kick off National Police Week.
Cincinnati officers gave their final salute as hundreds of men and women in blue filled the streets to honor the officers who dedicated their lives to serve others. During the service, Cincinnati Police Chief Eliot Isaac paid homage to what he called true American heroes.
"May we remember their sacrifice by giving no less than our very best every day," said Chief Isaac.
Husbands, wives, and children left behind teared up during the ceremony but took comfort knowing that the legacies of their loved ones live on.
Stacy Jeter-Cromwell says she still remembers getting the tragic phone call 20 years ago telling her that her cousin Specialist Ronald Jeter was shot and killed.
"It's like something you don't prepare for," said Jeter-Cromwell.
In 1997 Specialist Jeter and Officer Daniel Pope were shot and killed while responding to a domestic violence call. The love and support given by their brothers and sisters in blue help Cromwell and other families move on.
"They are important to the community and it's touching to know that what this event is all about," said Jeter-Cromwell.
So far this year more than 50 law enforcement officers have been killed in the line of duty. In the past decade, there has been an average of 150 officers killed in the line of duty each year nationwide.
Cheryl Cole-Kandelaresi lost her husband 44 years ago. Patrolman David Cole was killed in 1974 while attempting to stop a robbery.
"I think it's important to see the support from everyone else. It's just a great tribute to them," said Cole-Kandelaresi.
She says along with the memorial she takes comfort knowing that her husband died doing what he loved helping others.
Cincinnati Mayor John Cranley says the men and women who lost their lives serving their community will never be in vain. He says their ultimate sacrifice has helped make the city a safer place.