CANTON, Ohio (WJW) – The Stark County Sheriff’s Office on Friday wrapped up National Police Memorial Week remembering 19 area law enforcement law officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty.
The annual ceremony recognized officers from throughout Stark County, including those from Alliance, Massillon, Canton, Uniontown and Lawrence Township, who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the line of duty.
The last of which was Sean Vandenberg, who died in December of 2021 of COVID-19 after transporting a prisoner who tested positive for the virus.
“Every officer knows that when they take the oath of office and they put on that badge that they take the solemn risk of knowing, ‘it could be me,'” said Stark County Sheriff George Maier.
At Friday’s ceremony Meier also recognized the sacrifice of two Ohio State Highway Patrol troopers who died in 2006 when he was with the highway patrol.
“I was their commander of their unit. I remember today the exact call I got at 6 in the morning informing me of their tragic crash and I remember standing next to the car before they could move them from the vehicle. Those thoughts will stay with me forever,” said Maier.
Friday’s ceremony recognized the sacrifice of officers and deputies who have died in the line of duty dating past a century, with the sheriff noting that law enforcement will never forget those who have made the ultimate sacrifice.