Cleveland firefighter issued same badge number as father, Wayne Leon, who was killed in the line of duty

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CLEVELAND -- Nineteen cadets from the 34th Fire Training Academy Class took the oath of office in Cleveland on Friday.

According to a release, the new firefighters will serve in neighborhoods throughout Cleveland in an effort to improve service to residents.

One of the new firefighters is Justin Leon, who is the son of Wayne Leon, the Cleveland police officer who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2000.

"I've always wanted to do something to help people and I've wanted to do something with safety forces," Justin told FOX 8 News.

Cleveland Fire tweeted that Justin was issued the same badge number-- 1338-- that his father wore for the Cleveland Police Department.

"I don't remember a whole lot from my dad, I was 5 when he passed. I've always been told that he was very generous and very helpful and he was always just wanting to do the right thing and that he was always the guy to call when someone needed help," Justin said.

It was also an emotional day for fire Lieutenant Mike Norman.

"I was a young firefighter on rescue squad one the day that his father was shot, we were actually the first arriving company," explained Norman.

Norman has reamined close to the Leon family, including Justin's mother, who continues to help victims of violent crime.

“To be 19 years alter and to have his son come join us on the Cleveland fire department, his family being so dedicated to the citizens and visitors of Cleveland that they continued that service, I think it's really important, it says a lot about Justin and his family," Norman said.

Cadet Justin Leon was pinned by his mother, Grace Leon, at Friday's ceremony.

"It's almost just like the legacy kind of lives on in a way," Justin said.

**Continuing coverage on Wayne Leon, here**

 

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