Lorain to honor city’s first Black police officer

Published: Sep. 22, 2022 at 3:21 PM EDT
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LORAIN, Ohio (WOIO) - A city street will now be renamed in honor of the city’s first Black police officer who died in 2011.

Lorain City Council members voted unanimously earlier this week to name East 23rd Street after Officer David Wrice.

Officer Wrice lived on E. 23rd Street, which will now be known as David Wrice Way.

Officer David Wrice
Officer David Wrice((Source: Family))

“It’s an honor to know it’s meaning behind this street, it’s significance behind this street,” said Leonard Church-Wrice, Officer Wrice’s oldest son.

Officer Wrice joined the Lorain police department in 1966 and was an officer for 33 years.

Being the only Black officer on the force did come with challenges and Church-Wrice said his father was often harassed by white officers.

“Some of them would ride past the house and call us the N word and say they didn’t want no N’s in the police department,” said Church-Wrice.

When Officer Wrice died, city officials designated June 20th as David Wrice Day; however, Church-Wrice thought more could be done to honor his father.

“When they made June 20th, a national holiday which is Juneteenth... I said that’s it, I’m moving forward,” said Church-Wrice.

Lorain City Councilwoman Joanne Moon worked with Officer Wrice and said she hopes his legacy inspires others.

“We stand on the shoulders of our ancestors so hopefully we can get more Black officers in Lorain City hall because right now we only have two,” said Moon.

“The world can see he was somebody and he stood for something,” said Church-Wrice.