Hilliard Northwest News

Display to honor veterans on police force


Members of the Hilliard Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association plan to honor the police division's military veterans with a display inside the city's Joint Safety Services Building.

Howard Snyder, a member of the academy's first class of graduates in the fall of 2010, is leading the effort to create an honor wall.

"They are the real heroes of our community and in our lives," said Snyder, adding that he participated in the inaugural academy to learn how the police do their jobs.

The alumni association is raising the $2,000 needed to build and install an 8-by-4-foot case that will contain photographs and summaries of the military service record of about 20 current Hilliard Division of Police personnel.

Only current members are to be included and additions will be made to the honor wall as necessary, Snyder said.

"We've raised about $500 so far (and) hope to have the project completed in six months," said Snyder, 45, a Hilliard resident and secretary of the alumni association.

Organizers have established a Facebook page and they also are using a website called GoFundMe to assist in fundraising efforts, which began in September at the Old Hilliardfest Art and Street Fair.

"When the idea was presented, I wanted to be involved," Snyder said. "My (late) father was a Navy veteran and served in World War II."

Deputy Chief Bobby Fisher said the idea for the honor wall stemmed from a gift officer Jared Zellers presented to the police division in 2012 upon his return from a year of active duty in the Middle East with the U.S. Army.

Zellers donated a U.S. flag that had flown at his base and other memorabilia from his tour of duty.

"We thought it appropriate to do something, too, for the other officers who had served," Fisher said.

The idea was shared with the Hilliard Citizens Police Academy Alumni Association, "and they took the idea and ran with it," Fisher said.

Contributions toward the honor wall can be sent to the alumni association in care of the Joint Safety Services Building, 5171 Northwest Parkway in Hilliard, or they can be submitted online at gofundme.com/3iclzo.