CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The Greater Cleveland Police Memorial Society said the Peace Officer Memorial is running out of room, so they are raising money to expand in downtown Cleveland before it's too late.
Tracy Johnson said her husband was a Cleveland police officer who paid the ultimate sacrifice and died in the line of duty. His name is one of 186 names inscribed on granite pillars.
Joe Mannion, president of The Greater Cleveland Police Memorial Society said the memorial is a place to remember fallen officers.
"It helps the families, gives the survivors somewhere to come to and just reflect," said Mannion.
But now Mannion said they need more room. The memorial recently added Officer David Fahey and Trooper Kenneth Velez, who both died last year on the job.
Now they need to expand before they run out of space.
"With the expansion, the plans are to add two more pillars. That should give us enough space for approximately 200 names, which I hope we never have to use," said Mannion.
They estimate it will cost between $180,000-$200,000.
Johnson is helping with the fundraising. She said the memorial is a sacred place.
"You have to be in these shoes to understand, we come here to look at our husbands, family members, these guys are husbands, they are fathers, they are sons, uncles, they're everyday people," she said.
Mannion said they also need to make some repairs. In the last several weeks there has been some vandalism to the property, which makes Johnson angry.
"It's very disrespectful and it's very hurtful. It makes me mad. Why would you do it. If you're not here to pay respect, why are you over here?" she said.
She's hoping that once the word is out, more people will support their efforts. Cleveland Police are reviewing surveillance footage to catch the vandals.
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