Greater Cleveland fallen officers honored, remembered for 'National Police Week'

Posted at 1:22 PM, May 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-14 10:15:34-04

Gone but not forgotten.

This year 188 Greater Cleveland police officers will be honored as part of National Police Week. 

For two families, their loved ones will be honored for the first time: Ohio State Highway Patrol Trooper Kenneth Velez and Cleveland Police Officer David Fahey.

Both men were killed within four months of each other on Interstate 90 near Lakewood while on the job.

Fahey worked in CPD's first district for nearly three years, meanwhile Velez was an OSHP trooper for more than 20 years.

“It’s still very difficult for us because it’s still very raw for us," mother of officer Fahey, Jackie Ketterer, said. 

Ketterer said her police family has been tested over and over again in the last few months. They recently celebrated her son's birthday and Easter. 

On Saturday, the retired Cleveland police officer was overcome with emotion as she saw her son's name on the Greater Cleveland Police Memorial Wall for the first time. 

"It’s very hard to see your child’s name knowing that he gave the ultimate sacrifice and knowing that I’ll never see him again. I’m proud of who he was and what his memory will bring to the society and the community, but I’m heartbroken that it’s my child," Ketterer said.

Also seeing her relative's name for the first time was Marisol Torres, the niece of trooper Velez.

"It’s almost bittersweet," Torres said. "It’s a beautiful sight to see but an unfortunate event caused it.”

Torres said the support her family has received from other law enforcement families over the last eight months has been incredible. 

"I don’t think there’s any words to describe how people can make you feel just from saying ‘I know what you’re going through. I’m here for you and we understand where you’re coming from.' It’s life changing almost," Torres said.

Police and American flags were placed at each of the 188 fallen officers' grave sites on Saturday to mark the beginning of National Police Week.