Cleveland gears up for National Police Week

Widow remembers husband lost in line of duty as Police Week approaches
Tracy Johnson finds her husband Tony's name on the Greater Cleveland Police Officers Memorial. (Source: WOIO)
Tracy Johnson finds her husband Tony's name on the Greater Cleveland Police Officers Memorial. (Source: WOIO)
22-year-old Tony Johnson died in the line of duty during a bank robbery in 1981. (Source: Police Memorial Society)
22-year-old Tony Johnson died in the line of duty during a bank robbery in 1981. (Source: Police Memorial Society)

CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society is gearing up for National Police Week.

Tracy Johnson's husband was shot and killed nearly 35 years ago during a bank robbery in 1981.

She has raised their son without him ever really knowing his father.

Now she's there for other widows who face the same heartbreak.

Tracy and Tony had just celebrated their first wedding anniversary.

Her husband was killed only three months into his new job.

Their son was just seven months old.

"Even though it's 35 years, it still hurts sometimes. And we will never forget," Johnson said.

Johnson heads to the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial every May and finds her late husband Tony's name inscribed on one of the walls.

During National Police Week, she's there to help other families deal with their pain.

"We have to let people know, don't forget, because these families are still hurting," she said.

Right now the society is raising money to expand the police memorial.

They'll build two more pillars for the names that will be added for years to come.

During National Police Week, the Police Memorial Society is sponsoring the 31st Annual Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society Commemoration.

Public events include a parade down Lakeside Avenue, also known as "Police Memorial Way."

Then a commemorative service will be held at the Peace Officers Memorial. On Friday May 20th, the society is asking people to lower their flags to half staff.

Here is the list of events:

SATURDAY, MAY 14

Grave Marker Ceremony & Placement 8:00 A.M.

Police Memorial Square (Huntington Park)

For questions or to volunteer, contact John Dean, (216) 272-4469 or jtdean@policememorialsociety.org

MONDAY, MAY 16

Candlelight Vigil 8:00 P.M.

Police Memorial Square (Huntington Park)

Contact Tim Hassing, (216) 337-5295 or timhassing@policememorialsociety.org

WEDNESDAY, MAY 18

Street Survival Seminar 8:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.

Further details to be determined

Contact Steve Hirst, streetsurvival2013@gmail.com

THURSDAY, MAY 19

Street Survival Seminar 8:00 A.M.–5:00 P.M.

Further details to be determined

Contact Steve Hirst, streetsurvival2013@gmail.com

Cleveland Police Badge Case Ceremony 10:55 A.M.

Cleveland Police Headquarters, 1300 Ontario St.

Heroes Welcome Reception 8:00 P.M.–12:00 A.M.

The Clevelander - 34 Huron Road

Contact Kathy Delaney, (216) 538-6798 or kdelaney@policememorialsociety.org

FRIDAY, MAY 20

Police Memorial Parade 10:30 A.M.

Lakeside Ave. Westbound from E. 12th to W. 3rd St.

Contact Don Searle, (330) 416-1029 or custac2@aol.com

Memorial Service 11:30 A.M.

Police Memorial Square (Huntington Park)

Contact Joe Mannion, (216) 389-0246 or jmannion@policememorialsociety.org

Memorial Service 11:30 A.M.

Police Memorial Square (Huntington Park)

Contact Joe Mannion, (216) 389-0246 or jmannion@policememorialsociety.org

Luncheon for Parade Participants IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING MEMORIAL SERVICE

FOP Lodge 8 Hall, 2249 Payne Ave.

Steak Roast, Scholarship & Awards Ceremony 6:00 P.M. - 8:00 P.M.

CPPA Hall, 1303 W. 58th St.

Contact Michelle Tighe (440) 777-9604 for tickets or info@policememorialsociety.org

SATURDAY, MAY 21

Police Collectors Show 10:00 A.M.–3:00 P.M.

DoubleTree by Hilton, Lakeside Grand Ballroom

Admission, Vendors & Collectors Information...

For information contact Wendy Platt, (440) 227-2382 or collectorsshow@policememorialsociety.org

Cleveland International Tattoo 7:00 P.M.

Public Auditorium

For information contact Kathy Delaney, (216) 538-6798, kdelaney@policememorialsociety.org

After Tattoo Cast Party 10:00 P.M.

DoubleTree by Hilton - Ballroom

Contact jtavano@policememorialsociety.org

After Tattoo Party

CPPA Zone Car Lounge, 1303 W. 58th St.

SUNDAY, MAY 22

Police Memorial Mass & Breakfast 9:00 A.M.

Our Lady of the Angels, 3644 Rocky River Dr., Cleveland

4th Annual Officer Down 5k 11:00 A.M.

Lineup at the Memorial

Contact TJ Burke, (412) 980-0085 or tj.positivemovementz@gmail.com

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