A gravestone-styled memorial to fallen officers, erected by police in Galion, Ohio, was vandalized just ahead of National Peace Officers Memorial Day, infuriating local officials and the law enforcement community alike.
The memorial was built by the Galion Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 71 and sits in Amann Reservoir, a city park of the north central Ohio town. Local officials are asking for help from the public to identify those responsible.
The memorial was splattered with a latex-based yellow paint the day before National Peace Officers Memorial Day, city officials report.
Galion Police Lt. Marc Rodriguez said the vandalism is a “sickening and disrespectful thing” and noted that his fellow officers are very upset over the incident.
“It’s disheartening. We put our lives on the line every single day, and some have paid the ultimate price,” Rodriguez added.
After the incident was reported on the Morrow County Sheriffs Office Facebook page, a tipster said the paint was similar to that used by a local business. Police are following up on the lead.
The Galion Police also posted images of the desecrated memorial on its own Facebook page.
All is not discouraging, though. Lt. Rodriguez reported that, since the story broke, the department has received a lot of support from well-wishers in the community locally and across the nation.
The Galion Police posted a note to Facebook thanking citizens for their support.
Those responsible could face a second-degree misdemeanor charge of desecration of a public monument.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston, or email the author at firstname.lastname@example.org.