The City of Westerville and the Westerville Division of Police (WPD) are encouraging the community to honor Officers Anthony P. Morelli and Eric Joering by placing blue lights and ribbons at their homes/businesses during the month of February.
February 10, 2018
On Saturday, February 10, 2018, Officer Anthony P. Morelli and Officer Eric Joering were killed in the line of duty while responding to a hang-up 9-1-1 call. Officer Morelli was a 29-year veteran of WPD; Officer Joering had been with WPD for 16 years.
ODOT honors officers Morelli, Joering
The Ohio Department of Transportation (ODOT) installed signs honoring Westerville’s fallen officers on Monday, Nov. 5, 2018. Positioned along I-270, between the Cleveland Avenue and State Street exits, the stretch is now designated the “Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering Memorial Highway.”
The City presented the Morelli and Joering families with a small replica of the signs at the Westerville City Council Meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at Westerville City Hall.
The memories of Officers Morelli and Joering will not be forgotten. First Responders Park, adjacent to Fire Station 111, is being expanded to honor all who protect, serve and sacrifice. The names of our fallen first responders will appear on the Heroes Memorial Fountain at the park. Designs for First Responders Park have been approved and construction will soon be underway, scheduled for completion by September 11, 2019 in time for the annual 9/11 Memorial Observance.
The state of Ohio generously donated $500,000 for the project which helped jump start the expansion plans for First Responders Park. However, additional funds are necessary to complete the park updates.
First Responders Park expansion
Westerville’s First Responders Park (FRP) was first dedicated in 2010 to honor the service and sacrifice of all first responders. The centerpiece to the park was a section of steel known as “C-40” from the north tower of the World Trade Center that fell during the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Later, on Oct. 9, 2011, the City dedicated a privately funded sculpture, “The Crossing,” which honors a fallen Westerville firefighter, David Theisen. In 1998, David was killed while battling a fire in Crooksville, Ohio.
On Feb. 10, 2018, Westerville Division of Police officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering were killed in the line of duty. As the community worked to cope with this tragic loss, plans to create a permanent police memorial were expedited. The state of Ohio generously donated $500,000 for the project.
The following represents plans to upgrade a park that honors all first responders and to create a lasting memorial space for our local fallen who made the ultimate sacrifice. These concepts were created with a committee including the Westerville Chiefs of Police and Fire, as well as other representatives from the City’s police, fire, communications and administrative divisions.
Before the losses we suffered as a community, this project was considered for expansion because its size could not accommodate large community gatherings and noise from the street disrupted events. It has always been the intent of the City to be inclusive of all first responders. All elements of the existing park, including commemorative bricks, will be incorporated into the redesigned space.
The committee adopted the proposed concepts guided by this mission:
This park will help us remember and honor Westerville’s First Responders. Respect this ground, made sacred through their love, sacrifice and tragic loss. Recognize the endurance of those who survived, the courage and spirit of those who risked their lives to save others and the compassion of those who support us in our darkest hours.
Landscape architecture firms POD Design and McGill Smith Punshon provided design services free of charge to honor Morelli and Joering. Designs from memorials around the globe were used to inspire the park in form and function, which are illustrated in the renderings below. This project is supported by a generous $500,000 donation from the state of Ohio.
Expansion plans for First Responders Park (FRP) have been approved and will soon be underway, scheduled for completion by September 11, 2019 in time for the annual 9/11 Memorial Observance.
The City of Westerville does not coordinate or endorse events or fundraisers. However, we do attempt to make the public aware of official fundraisers (sponsored by an individual or organization that may be in some way be vetted or otherwise confirmed). Please send any official fundraiser notices to firstname.lastname@example.org to have them included on this page.
KE WA PA Sales, Inc.: A portion of proceeds from special memorial mats will benefit the Morelli and Joering families. Please see their flier for details.
Megan Lee Designs: 100% of profits from Westerville Police t-shirts will be donated to the Morelli and Joering families.
Thin Blue Line USA: 100% of profits from sale of special thin blue line wristbands will be donated to the Morelli and Joering families by way of FOP Capital City Lodge #9.
Other ways to support
The families of Officer Morelli and Officer Joering request that donations be made to Ohio Concerns of Police Survivors, a non-profit 501 (c)(3) organization that operates as a peer support network for survivors whose loved ones have died in the line of duty. For more information, please contact Laura Richards, Trustee, at email@example.com.
CME Credit Union in Westerville will accept donations and route those to the families. Please beware unsubstantiated accounts attempting to collect funds.
The City of Westerville and Westerville Division of Police thank you for the continued support of our officers and their families.