Akron police hold memorial service for fallen officers

Akron police hold memorial service for fallen officers

AKRON, OH (WOIO) - It was an emotional ceremony as the Fraternal Order of Police held a memorial for Akron officers killed in the line of duty.

"26 lives, 26 heroes, we hear 26 but in reality that number is much much higher," said Akron Police Chief James Nice.

Some in the audience fought back tears as the names of the 26 officers were read aloud, and loved ones stood to honor their memories.

"They are shot at, they are attacked, and yet they come back day after day because they believe in what they do," said Reverend Bob Denton.

"It does feel different today and it will never be the same because we lost another hero."

During this emotional ceremony, there was a heartbreaking addition to this year's list of the fallen.

"This year we lost one of our own. Officer Justin Winebrenner bravely gave his life. He was brutally murdered," said Reverend Denton.

On November 16, 2014 Justin Winebrenner, who was off-duty, was shot and killed at Papa Don's in Akron while trying to calm down an unruly patron.

"His desire to help without hesitation or thought of his own safety was the unsung hero inside of him," said Chief Nice.

Accompanied by her grandfather, Winebrenner's 5-year-old daughter Charlie placed the 26th and final flower on the shield in memory of her dad.

Click here for the complete list of Akron officers lost in the line of duty.

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