Akron police gather to remember those killed in the line of duty

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AKRON, Ohio - Akron police officers along with their counterparts from other area departments gathered on Wednesday to honor the memories of those who have been killed in the line of duty.

Also in attendance were the families of some of the 26 whose names were read, including 32-year-old Officer Justin Winebrenner.

"Today just feels different. It feels different because, again, for the third year in a row, Akron has had to place a name on the wall in Washington D.C. They are heroes, but we don't want to add any more names to that wall," said Akron F.O.P. President Paul Hlynsky.

The officers whose names were read were:

  • Guy Norris, shot on December 23, 1917
  • Arthur Doubledee, a Deputy Marshall stabbed to death October 12, 1926
  • Edward Cistigan, shot in an ambush on January 10, 1918
  • Joseph Hunt, also killed in the January 10, 1918 ambush while patrolling his beat
  • Gethin Richards, shot on March 12th 1918
  • George Werne, shot on March 9th 1919
  • Harold Rogers, killed trying to apprehend a reckless driver on July 8th, 1925
  • William Grubbs, shot and killed on May 6, 1929
  • Harland Manes, shot on March 8th 1930
  • Forrest Good, shot on June 21st 1931
  • Kenneth Knepp, killed in a traffic collision March 3rd,1933
  • William Peterson, who died after a traffic collision on October 31, 1933
  • Arden Weese, killed in a traffic collision March 22, 1946
  • Floyd Weatherholt, Jr.,killed by an armed burglar March 25, 1960
  • Ronald Rothruck, killed in a flash flood cave-in July 21, 1964
  • Eugene Hooper, shot on April 10, 1965
  • Robert Donahue, who suffered a seizure while apprehending a resisting subject in July, 1968
  • Glenn Stewart, killed in a traffic collision September 5, 1970
  • Stephen Ondas, shot on Ocober 21, 1972
  • Gary Yost, shot on August 23, 1975
  • Ben Franklin, who died of a heart attack subduing a resisting suspect January 10, 1992
  • Harold Winthrow, shot and paralyzed in a 1965 robbery investigation. He died of complications from his injuries on August 27, 1993
  • George Knaff, killed in a traffic collision November 5, 1994
  • Frank Mancini, shot and paralyzed April 10, 1965. He died on January 23, 2012 of complications from his injuries
  • Jonathan Long, paralyzed in an accident on July 30, 1992. He died of complications from his injuries on August 15, 2013
  • Justin Winebrenner, shot and killed during a struggle with an armed patron at a local pub on November 16, 2014.

In attendance for Wednesday's ceremony were relatives of several officers, including Justin Winebrenner.

"Today we attend Akron's police memorial and while we memorialize all the officers, one of those officers today will include my son," said Justin Winebrenner's father, Rob Winebrenner.

"When I look back at Justin, I look back at a brave man who, he went into a threat unarmed and that's how brave he was. He had to do the right thing and he didn't even have his weapon with him. And he sacrificed his life so others could live," said Hylinsky.

Officer Winebrenner's young daughter placed a flower on a memorial wreath during the ceremony.

"Our hearts are still aching and our minds are still reeling from Justin's senseless death. It is so fresh in our memories, it feels like it happened just yesterday. Today is meant to bring us closer to healing," said Deputy Chief Ken Ball.

The 26 fallen Akron officers on Wednesday were remembered as heroes.

"Our fallen were husbands, brothers, sons and fathers whose loved ones were left to carry on with much pain," said Ball.