Remembering Detective James Skernivitz: Cleveland officer was sworn in to work as part of Operation Legend

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CLEVELAND (WJW) — Cleveland police, family and friends and the entire city are mourning the loss of Detective James Skernivitz, who was killed in the line of duty Thursday night.

Detective Skernivitz, 53, had been with the Cleveland Division of Police for 25 years.

Skernivitz was sworn in as a member of the Violent Crime Task Force to work as part of Operation Legend on Wednesday. Operation Legend is a violent crime reduction effort, focused on reducing gang violence, drug crimes, and illegal firearms in Cleveland.

Cleveland Police Chief Calvin Williams early Friday morning said, “This officer was out doing what police officers do: trying to protect the people of this city and he gave his life.” The chief asked for prayers for the officer’s family and for the entire city.

Police Union President Jeff Follmer told FOX 8, Detective Skernivitz was a great guy and a great officer.

The FOX 8 I-Team confirmed the officer’s car was shot multiple times at W. 65th and Storer around 10 p.m. Thursday. Another person was also killed. No information on that person has yet been released.

Sources told the I-Team two of three suspects have been arrested.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Director of Public Safety Karrie Howard and Chief of Police Calvin Williams will talk more about the investigation at 3 p.m. today.

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