CUYAHOGA FALLS, SILVER LAKE — Although the COVID-19 pandemic has forced the cancellation of the 2020 Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial service, billboards will be displayed and flags will fly in recognition of National Police Week starting May 10.

Steve Amos, chairman of the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation, said money that is normally used to stage the ceremony (that had been scheduled for May 13) was used to create billboards honoring police officers, firefighters, dispatchers, health care workers, essential workers and volunteers.

"We want to give back to the community and thank them through the billboards," said Amos.

Seven billboards can be found throughout the city on Front Street, State Road and at Hudson Drive and Second Street. The foundation then partnered with Western Reserve Hospital to create an eighth billboard that is displayed on State Road and Broad Boulevard.

Amos said Lamar Advertising Co. of Cleveland - Akron - Canton created the billboards at a discounted rate.

In addition to the hospital, other generous supporters of the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation are the Faber Foundation, FOP Lodge 49 and the mayor’s office, Amos said.

The traditional thin blue line flags honoring police officers are displayed along Broad Boulevard, on Second Street from Broad to Oakwood Drive, and from Oakwood to Front. The flags are hung vertically on each light pole along Front Street from Broad to Oakwood. The flags are also displayed along Silver Lake Boulevard in Silver Lake.

The thin blue line flags will fly at all of the city government buildings, while special blue lights will shine at city hall, the clock tower and downtown fountain.

Amos also praised Falls Flag & Banner for making a donation to the foundation for each flag it sells.

The names of three deceased law enforcement officers have been added to the memorial site on the city campus between city hall and the Natatorium: Carl Harrison; Donald Smith; and Thomas Watson.

Amos said all three will be honored at the 2021 police memorial ceremony.

For more information about the police memorial site and the foundation, visit www.cfslpolicememorial.org.

History of memorial site, National Police Week

In August 2012, the police memorial was dedicated in the city of Cuyahoga Falls to honor the men and women of the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake police departments. Each year, during National Police Week, a service is held to remember and honor fallen officers. The 2020 National Police Week will be observed beginning May 10, and will run through May 16.

In 1962, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation designating May 15 as Peace Officers Memorial Day and the week in which that date falls as National Police Week.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at 330-541-9421, pkeren@recordpub.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.