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Ohio police officer remembered at nation’s Capitol

Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 5:52 PM EDT
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WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Remembered for the moment with a flower, and forever in stone, the nation salutes Colerain Township Police Officer Dale Woods.

President Biden spoke at the ceremony Saturday afternoon, paying tribute to all. “Behind each name are families, he said, “and we hope you take some comfort in the knowledge that the men and women assembled here today, they’ll always be with you.”

There’s both pride and pain for those Officer Woods left behind. A truck struck him in 2019 as he managed a crash scene, succumbing to his injuries a few days later. The pandemic delayed his in-person recognition at the annual National Peace Officers’ Memorial until Saturday.

“It reopened some wounds... we thought had healed,” said Colerain Township Police Chief Mark Denney, “but it was good to get together, and to celebrate him and be with his family.”

Chief Denney said Woods’ death hit their small department hard. He remembers Woods as a talkative childhood friend, and a quieter, exceptional officer, “he just kind of took care of business and he was a well-respected member of our department.”

Denney said it’s sobering to see so many families and departments struggling with their own losses. But, he said there’s also comfort in their shared grief. “Feels good to sitdown, and hear similar stories, similar problems they had getting through this, and how they came out on the other end as well.”

Saturday is National Move Over Day – reminding motorists to give space to officers doing their job along the side of the road. Woods’ family and colleagues ask everyone to heed that advice in hopes other families and communities will be spared from heartbreak like theirs.

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