CLEVELAND, Ohio (WOIO) - Parkview Avenue on Cleveland’s East side has a new park.
It’s a thank you letter for a slain police officer four years in the making.
Police officers, community members and family gathered for the inauguration of the Officer Derek Owens Memorial Park.
“Thank you seems so inadequate, it doesn’t seem like enough,” Derek’s mother Barbara Owens said, “but it’s all I got.”
Officer Owens was shot in the line of duty on Feb. 29th, 2008.
He died from his injuries the following morning.
“My concern then was ‘one day, we were going to get that phone call.’ Well, we got that phone call,” Barbara said.
In order to honor Officer Owens and his contributions, the community built the park on the same street of the incident that happened 11 years ago.
Captain Keith Sulzer was the at the forefront of the project from the beginning.
“If I were to raise $250,000 and had somebody just come and built it, it wouldn’t mean as much,” Captain Keith Sulzer said. “But the community pitching in and making this happen, that’s where the great meaning for this park is.”
The ceremony also had one extra surprise, a new name for Parkview Avenue. Captain Keith Sulzer presented a new street sign that reads: “Officer Derek Owens Way.”
“I’m sure they [the family] will never recover from it, but I’m sure this will help them feel everything wasn’t in vain,” he said.
The park featured donations from organizations across Cleveland, including the Cleveland Police Foundation, the Cleveland foundation, LAND studio, and a playground donation from the Cleveland Browns.
Captain Salzer hopes to hold a grand-opening for the park next spring.