MADISON COUNTY, OH (WOIO) - There's a special service to remember officers who gave their lives in the line of duty in Ohio.
The 30th annual Honor and Remember Ohio Peace Officers' Memorial Ceremony was held Thursday. Hundreds of officers from all over the state attended the ceremony at the Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy in London, Ohio. They stood tall and proud to remember the lives of those lost in the line of duty while serving and protecting their communities.
They called out 782 names, all law enforcement officers in the state of Ohio.
That included Trooper Kenneth Velez, who was struck by a car while conducting a traffic stop on Interstate 90 this past September.
"Trooper Velez's dedication to public service and his family were evident in the words of his son Devin, who said in a tribute to him, and I quote, 'He devoted his whole life to protecting others and to protecting us,'" said Mike DeWine, Ohio Attorney General.
For the second year, they honored K-9 officers, including Canton Police Department's K-9 Jethro.
Jethro was shot and killed during a January 2016 robbery. His partner, Ryan Davis, says Jethro took bullets meant for him. He said the ceremony is moving and shows the sacrifice all officers make when they take the oath, especially Jethro.
"I'm here today because of him and the more, the longer the time passes, the more I grasp that, the more things I do, the more it becomes a realization of because of him I was able to enjoy the different things I've done this past year with my family," said Davis.
The Ohio Peace Officer Training Academy has a memorial with each of the fallen officer's names. It's a place for people to reflect and take a moment to pay respects.
Last year, five officers lost their lives in the line of duty in the state of Ohio.