Cuyahoga Falls, Silver Lake will observe National Police Week

Ceremony canceled due to COVID-19 pandemic

Phil Keren
Kent Weeklies
The police memorial ceremony in Cuyahoga Falls has been canceled for a second straight year, but there will still be flags and banners displayed in the city during National Police Week May 9 through 15.

CUYAHOGA FALLS, SILVER LAKE  — Although the police memorial ceremony is canceled for the second straight year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be visual displays in the city and village honoring the service of law enforcement officers.

Steve Amos, chairman of the Cuyahoga Falls and Silver Lake Police Memorial and Honor Guard Foundation, said city and county regulations related to COVID-19 "prohibited us from having the ceremony that we wanted."

The canceled ceremony was scheduled to happen May 12.

There are still restrictions on outdoor gatherings and Amos added that the banquet center inside the Natatorium is not yet hosting events.

This year's ceremony would've honored seven deceased officers. Due to COVID-19-restrictions, only five family members for each memorialized officer would've been allowed to attend, according to Amos.

"We did not want to shortchange any of the families by not having who they wanted to come to the ceremony," Amos said.

Three deceased officers were scheduled to be honored at the canceled 2020 service:

• Carl Harrison, date of death: Aug.16, 2019;

• Donald Smith, Dec. 29, 2019; and

• Thomas Watson, March 20, 1949.

Weven deceased officers were slated to be honored at this year's service:

• Charles R. Elum, April 2, 2020;

• Donald P. Kirkhart, April 5, 2020;

• Richard N. Simmons, April 8, 2020;

• Thomas L. Tomlinson, Dec. 4, 2020;

• Robert A.Peters, Dec. 12, 2020;

• Clyde Whittington, March 28, 1943; and

• Horace Simms, March 10, 1949

The names of the three officers who were scheduled to be honored in 2020 are already engraved at the memorial site on the city campus between the municipal building and the Natatorium.

Amos said the names of the seven officers who were supposed to be honored this year will be engraved at the memorial site soon, adding a ceremony is planned for next year.

"When we re-convene next year; we'll be inviting families of all 10 [officers]," Amos said.

Displays in city will honor all police officers 

National Police Week is May 9 through 15. During this week, the traditional thin blue line flags honoring police officers will be displayed on Broad Boulevard from Front Street to State Road; Second Street from Broad to Oakwood Drive to Front. Flags are also displayed along Silver Lake Boulevard and Kent Road 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, parking decks and fountains.

Banners will be put up on every light pole along Front Street in the downtown area.

There will be about 150-plus thin blue line flags displayed in the city May 9 through 15.

"We can't find a larger display of the black-and-blue [police] memorial flags anywhere in the United States during National Police Week," Amos said.

Reporter Phil Keren can be reached at pkeren@thebeaconjournal.com, or on Twitter at @keren_phil.