It’s not Christmas in July at the North Royalton Police Department, but it seems like it could be, with gifts arriving daily lately. Residents and area businesses have shown appreciation for North Royalton’s finest after recent police shootings nationwide.
According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, 69 police officers have been shot to death so far this year, 19 in July. In Ohio, three officers died in the line of duty and one K-9 dog. Nationwide, the deaths of 33 of these officers were a result of gunfire.
On July 7, 2016, a group of police officers were ambushed and fired upon in Dallas, Texas, killing five officers and injuring nine others, along with two civilians. On July 17, a Missouri man ambushed and killed three law officers and wounded three others in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. The latest victim was Sergeant Craig Hutchinson, who was shot and killed when he interrupted a burglary in progress as he arrived home, in Round Rock, Texas, at the end of his shift. Reports of police killings have increased in recent weeks. “Although it happens in big cities, it happens in small towns too,” said North Royalton Police Lieutenant Keith Tarase.
These tragedies have not gone unnoticed by the North Royalton Police Department and North Royalton residents. On July 17, on the North Royalton Police Department’s Facebook page, Tarase posted: “we are saddened to hear about the loss of more of our brothers. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Baton Rouge Police Department, their families, and the community of Baton Rouge. We shall not be deterred and we will not falter! A sincere “Thank You” to the North Royalton Community and all those that support law enforcement across this great nation!”
Donations and words of thanks from residents and area businesses have been coming into the NRPD and its officers since the Dallas shootings took place. A stream of snacks, baked goods, food and water have arrived for the officers in gratitude for their service. North Royalton Safety Director, Bruce Campbell noted that, “I think it’s nice when the community comes together, doing little things to show their support for what is often a thankless job.”
A recent Facebook post sums up the appreciation of the NRPD: “I would like to start by thanking everyone for the support that they have shown to this department over the last couple of weeks. I spent my weekend working at a community festival and I can’t recall how many times I and the other officers working were approached and thanked for our service and the job we do. It was very humbling and much appreciated. Thank you again. I am very proud to serve this community,” Lt. Tarase.
“The outpouring of support shown by the community to the Police Department is greatly appreciated by the rank and file officers,” noted North Royalton Police Chief, John Elek. “It’s nice to know that our residents recognize how difficult our jobs can be at times. On behalf of all the members of the North Royalton Police Department, I would like to thank our residents for their kind gestures of support.”

Contributing Writer