Dispatch Non-Emergency (216) 475-6607
Dispatch Emergency (216) 475-1234 or 911
To view the "2013 Annual Report", please click here.
Canine Officer Jax Protected with Vest Donation
Garfield Heights K9 Officer Jax is now protected by a bullet and stab-protective vest thanks to a donation from Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. A combined donation from the Massachusetts-based non-profit organization, a local resident and the Elno Family Foundation made it possible to purchase the protective vest.
Vested Interest in K9s Inc. is a 501c (3) all volunteer charity located in East Taunton, Mass. The organization’s mission is to provide bullet and stab-protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5-year warranty. Vested Interest in K9s Inc. was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, the organization has invested about $550,000 and provided more than 580 law enforcement dogs with protective vests in 38 states including Alaska and Hawaii.
The organization orders the Armor Express vests, made in Central Lake, Mich. exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Mass., which also does the custom embroidery on the body armor. Agencies with new K9 graduates as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to apply for the ballistic vests. The program is available to U.S. employed, certified K9s who are at least 19 months old.
For more information, visit www.vik9s.org or call 508-824-6978. Donations are accepted by mail at Vested Interest in K9s, P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA, 02718 or via the website.
Vested K-9 Donation
Garfield Heights Police K9 Officers Rosco and Arlo have received bullet and stab protective vests from Vested Interest in K9s Inc. Company President Sandy Marcal contacted the Garfield Heights police department after viewing a WEWS television clip of their swearing-in ceremony. The dogs placed their paws on the Bible while being sworn in by Mayor Vic Collova.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a Massachusetts based non-profit organization. The vests will protect the K9s from bullet and stab wounds as well as blunt force trauma.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is an all volunteer charity located in East Taunton, Mass. Its mission is to provide bullet and stab protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950 and has a 5-year warranty. Established in 2009, the charity focuses on assisting law enforcement agencies by providing potentially lifesaving body armor for their four-legged officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has provided more than 470 protective vests to law enforcement dogs since its inception. More than $400,000 has been invested in providing K9 vests to agencies in 37 states including Alaska and Hawaii.
Two recent events made it possible for the charity to provide 217 vests this year to four-legged crime fighters across the country. In January 2013, a regional Groupon grassroots campaign naming Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. as a charity partner raised approximately $55,000. A March 2013 Groupon campaign raised $155,000.
The organization orders the Armor Express vests, made in Central Lakes, Mich., exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, Mass. The company does the custom embroidery on the body armor. For more information about Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. visit www.vik9s.org or call 508-824-6978.
To read the article on News Channel 5, please click here.
Officer James Seawright Offers Resources to Garfield Heights High School Students
Garfield Heights Patrolman James Seawright is the city’s new School Resource Officer. The nearly 1,300 students at Garfield Heights High School will see Officer Seawright daily and at special events throughout the school year.
Ward 6 Councilwoman Tracy Mahoney initiated discussions about adding a School Resource Officer program several years ago. “I read an article about the SRO program and thought it might be something we could add here,” Mahoney said. “I started researching the benefits these programs offer within a community and realized how good it would be to have a police officer mentoring students and available to handle and prevent problems.”
Police Chief Robert Sackett said Seawright will be at the high school throughout the year and attend after-school events including games and dances. Cost for the SRO program will be shared by the city and the school district, Sackett said. The selection committee included school staff, police officers and city administrators. “I think this is a valuable program, one that is supported by our mayor, city council and school board members and the education administration here in Garfield Heights,” Sackett said.
Seawright said he will serve as an additional adult role model within the school building, a counselor for students seeking assistance, and a law enforcement officer in case of emergencies. He also will provide educational programs throughout the school year including sessions on cyber bullying, anger management, and “courageous conversation,” an open forum for students to express their views and concerns.
Seawright is a 13-year veteran of the Garfield Heights Police Department. He is a member of the Southeast Area Law Enforcement SWAT unit and is the Garfield Heights Safety Town coordinator. The officer is a 1994 graduate of Max Hayes Vocational School. He attended SRO training at the Ohio Police Officers Training Academy and is a member of the Ohio School Resource Officers Association.
The first SRO program was established in 1958 in Flint, Michigan. Officials report that the presence of school resource police reduces fear of crime and violence among students, faculty and staff. Properly trained and integrated into the school administration, the officers can be viewed as an asset and resource to the school and not simply a disciplinary force to “catch” student criminals and delinquents. Key components of the SRO program are to develop positive relationships with students and staff; recognize and respond to security threats on the school campus; and deter crime through a visible presence in the school and at school-sponsored activities.
Police Department K-9s being awarded a vest through Groupon
A nationwide Groupon Event for East Taunton’s, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. has raised over $155,000.00 in 8 days.
The Garfield Heights Police Department will be receiving two vests for our K9s, Arlo, Handler Dale Merchant; and Rosco, Handler Pat Hace. Our two K9s are receiving vests thanks to a nationwide animal-related GROUPON EVENT that ran March 13 through March 20, 2013.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc., was the non-profit organization and charity partner selected by Groupon Grassroots to participate. The online $10.00 donation suggested interested persons purchase a GROUPON (a tax deductible donation) through the secure website where all funds were allocated to purchase ballistic vests for our four-legged crime fighters who put their lives on the line for the community and their partner.
The nonprofit met its goal of raising $95,000.00 to provide 100 K9s with ballistic vests in just three days. At the close of the campaign on March 20, Vested Interest in K9s had raised $155,375.33, which will provide 163 vests to K9s in 30 states. The organization is still accepting donations through their website, www.vik9s.org and via U.S. mail at P.O. Box 9, East Taunton, MA 02718.
ABOUT VESTED INTEREST IN K9S, INC.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. is a 501c (3) all volunteer charity located in East Taunton, MA. The organization’s mission is to provide bullet- and stab-protective vests for law enforcement dogs throughout the United States. Each vest costs $950.00 and has a 5 year warranty. The nonprofit was established in 2009 to assist law enforcement agencies with this potentially life saving body armor for their K9 Officers. Through private and corporate sponsorships, Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. provided 66 police dogs with protective vests in 2012. In September of 2012, the organization hit a milestone of donating $100,000 in protective vests to law enforcement agencies throughout the United States. In January of 2013, a regional Groupon Grassroots campaign raised more than $55,000, which allowed Vested Interest in K9s to donate 53 K9 vests across the country.
The organization orders the U.S. made vests exclusively from distributor Regency Police Supply in Hyannis, MA. The company also does the custom embroidery on the body armor.
New K9 graduates as well as K9s with expired vests are eligible to be added to the organization's waiting list.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. President Sandy Marcal began working with law enforcement agencies in 2000 to coordinate efforts between various police agencies, vest sponsorships, fundraising events and the media within Massachusetts. In 2011, efforts were expanded to assist police dogs throughout the United States.
Vested Interest in K9s, Inc. currently has a list of over 20 police dogs needing vests. For more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities, call 508-824-6978. Tax deductible donations and event listings are via the website: www.vik9s.org.
School Zone Safety Reminder
To view the Channel 5 News coverage, please click here.
Garfield Heights Police Promotions
Mayor Vic Collova recently presided over the promotional swearing in of two city police officers. Police Chief Robert Sackett said both officers will provide quality leadership to the department.
Lieutenant David Bailey was promoted from the rank of sergeant. He is an 18-year veteran of the Garfield Heights police department and consistently has been awarded by Mothers Against Drunk Drivers as the top officer in the county for impaired driving arrests. During his police career, Bailey also has received multiple other commendations including the Silver & Gold Award.
Sergeant Todd Cramer has been a patrolman in Garfield Heights for 15 years and has received numerous awards and commendations including the Silver & Gold Award.
From left, Police Chief Robert Sackett, Sgt. Todd Cramer, Lt. David Bailey and Mayor Vic Collova
K-9 Swearing-in and Donor Recognition Ceremony
Garfield Heights Police Chief Robert Sackett praised members of the community for their contributions to the city's K-9 unit during a swearing-in ceremony for the new four-legged officers at City Hall.
"Due to the astonishing generosity of many companies and individuals in Garfield Heights, we raised more than enough money to purchase and train two dogs," Sackett said. The donors received plaques during the ceremony and a special plaque with all of their names will be displayed in the lobby of the Garfield Heights Police Department.
The chief swore in the new dogs, Rosco and Arlo, who put their paws on a Bible while taking the oath of office. Rosco's handler is Patrolman Pat Hace. Arlo's handler is Patrolman Dale Merchant. The veteran police officer also handled retired K-9 Major, who recently had to be put to sleep. The former K-9 was recognized during the ceremony. The new K-9 officers were born in Germany and trained in Wapakoneta, Ohio.
Donors recognized during the ceremony included Baumann Enterprises, Chart Industries, Family Pet Clinic, Jennings Center for Older Adults Residents Council, Marc Glassman Incorporated (owner of Marc's discount stores), Marymount Hospital, Marymount Hospital Security, Sager Company, Mayor Vic & Jeannie Collova, Garfield Heights Ward 2 Block Watch, Ward 4 Block Watch, Ward 7 Block Watch, Wards 2, 4, 5, 6 Block Watch, Garfield Heights City Employees, Wayne and Sue Williams and the Garfield Heights Historical Society.
Garfield Heights welcomes two new K-9 officers
To view the WEWS News coverage, please click here.
Farewell to K9 Major
Police Chief Robert Sackett announced the death of retired K9 Officer Major, who was a sworn member of the Garfield Heights Police Department from October, 2003 through October, 2012. Major had advanced cancer and had to be put to sleep Dec. 13 at The Family Pet Clinic. While a member of the police department, Patrolman Dale Merchant served as Major’s handler.
Major was born November 5, 2002. A German shepherd breed, the K9 was imported from Slovakia and all his commands were spoken in the German language.
Major was trained at Von der haus Gill Kennel Police dog training academy in Wapakoneta, Ohio. During Major’s service, Major and Officer Merchant maintained certification through the State of Ohio and the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers as a dual purpose K-9 Team (Patrol/Narcotics). Officer Merchant has been a K-9 Handler since 1999 and a trainer with the National Association of Professional Canine Handlers since 2009. He was attending training with the department’s new K9 when he received the news about Major’s advanced illness.
Shop With A Cop
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Right Turns on Red Restricted from Interstate 480/Granger Road Exit Ramp
Right turns on red are now restricted from the Interstate 480 exit ramp onto Granger Road in Garfield Heights from 6 a.m. to 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
The new regulation was established by Mayor Vic Collova who also serves as the city’s safety director. It is effective immediately.
Warning from a former Garfield Heights athlete about the drug that sent him to prison
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New Police Car Bought with OVI fines
Garfield Heights police officers will be patrolling the city’s streets in another vehicle purchased with fines and fees collected from drivers convicted of operating their vehicles while intoxicated. A portion of the fines paid to the court also are earmarked for OVI enforcement, according to Garfield Heights Police Chief Robert Sackett. The car is a 2012 Dodge Charger.
“The graphics have been completely re-designed to give our cars a fresh look,” Sackett said. As cruisers are replaced, the new design will be implemented. Sackett said a committee of patrol officers created the new design. The car pictured in the photo is equipped with the city’s first dash camera, which the police department was awarded for its successful OVI checkpoint program.
Click it or Ticket Campaign
Copies of Reports
Police records and traffic accident reports can be obtained at the records window located in the main lobby of the Garfield Heights Police Department. The Records Bureau is open Monday through Friday (excluding holidays) from 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Business Emergency Contact Information
All businesses in the Garfield Heights area are requested to provide and keep updated emergency contact information with the Police Department. This paperwork can be completed by stopping by the Records Bureau. This will enable us to contact you if there is a problem at your business after hours.
Contact Information (216) 475-4633
There is a parking ban in effect from 3:00 a.m. - 6:00 a.m. every night. In the event an emergency arises and you need to leave your vehicle in the street overnight, you should contact dispatch at (216) 475-6607. If you need extended overnight parking permission (i.e., new driveway, construction, etc.) you should contact the Records Bureau during business hours at (216) 475-4633.
Annual parking permits are issued in September for residents who do not have enough room in their driveway for all their licensed vehicles. Annual permits can be requested by filling out an application at the Records Bureau during business hours. If the application is approved, the resident will receive a parking sticker for the annual cost of $15.00.
Snow Ban Restrictions
In the event the Mayor or the Service Director declares a snow emergency, no vehicles can be parked on any street at anytime until the snow emergency has been lifted. Overnight parking permits are not exempt from this restriction.
Codified Ordinance 531.05 addresses that compulsory school age children are mandated to be in attendance at school and cannot be on the streets or sidewalks between 9:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. on a school day. If a child has a late start or early release school schedule he/she may only be on the streets during the restricted hours if she/he is directly in route to or from school. Any minor violating this ordinance is subject to arrest and appearance in Juvenile Court. Any parent or guardian of a minor violating this ordinance may be issued a citation that will require an appearance in Garfield Heights Municipal Court.
|Age Group||Prohibited Hours|
Children under the age of 12
9:00 p.m. to dawn
9:30 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
11:00 p.m. to 6:00 a.m.
12:00 midnight to 6:00 a.m.
The Garfield Heights City Jail has been classified as a 12-day facility, meaning we can house prisoners for up to 12 days before we would need to transfer prisoners to another facility. The City Jail is attached to the Police Department/Garfield Heights Municipal Court complex at 5555 Turney Road.
If you are planning to visit a prisoner at the Garfield Heights City Jail, please review the following:
6:00 p.m. - 7:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
1:00 p.m. - 2:00 p.m.
- Each visitor will be required to present a valid ID.
- Each visitor will be required to sign the visitor register.
- Each visitor must provide the necessary information requested by an officer.
- Visits will be limited to 15 minutes.
- Each inmate is only allowed 15 minutes during visitation hours.
- If the inmate refuses a visit, the visitor will be denied the visit.
- Visitors are only allowed to bring the following to inmates: t-shirts, socks, underwear, and/or medications in original prescribed bottle with medication to match.
- Inmates are permitted one (1) free phone call, however, they do have access to a pay phone which will enable them to make out-going calls as long as the receiver will accept the charges.
(216) 475-6485 or (216) 475-6607
Animal complaints can be called into the Police Department at (216) 475-6607. If the complaint is of a non-emergency nature a message can be left for the Animal Warden at (216) 475-1108. His normal business hours are Monday through Friday 7:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
No person shall play any radio, music player, television, audio system, or musical instrument in such a manner or at such volume as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of neighboring inhabitants, nor shall any person play any radio, music player or audio system in a motor vehicle at such a volume as to disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of other persons.
Garfield Heights residents are encouraged to notify the Police Department when they will be away on vacations, so that uninhabited homes, for either short or long durations, can be watched. The Police Department assigns officers to visit homes on Vacation House Watch to check that the residence is safe and secure.
Residents are not allowed to place their rubbish on the curb prior to 6:00 p.m. the night before pick-up. During winter hours residents may place the rubbish on the curb at 4:30 p.m. the night before pick-up.
Garfield Heights Police Department does not handle fingerprinting for civilians.
Are pit bull dogs banned from the City of Garfield Heights?
Yes, no person shall own, keep, harbor or have on public or private property as defined within the Municipal limits of the City of Garfield Heights. Whoever violates this ban will be guilty of a misdemeanor of the third degree on the first offense and a misdemeanor of the first degree for each subsequent offense.
How do I obtain my vehicle after it has been impounded?
The owner of the vehicle will need to come to the Garfield Heights Police Department with proof of ownership of the vehicle, either the title or registration, and identification. They will be given a tow release form which they will need to then take to one of the following towing companies and pay the following fees:
Flat Bed Tow
Per day storage
A & H Towing
13100 Broadway Ave.
Garfield Hts., OH 44125
13721 Broadway Ave.
Garfield Hts., OH 44125
How do I pay for a ticket?
You can pay a ticket that you do not want to contest Monday - Friday from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. at the Garfield Heights Municipal Court in the Clerk of Court's Office on the 2nd floor.
Where do I call to report a suspected drug house?
Call the Police Department and ask for the Officer-in-Charge. You do not have to leave your name and number. Please have as much information as possible including the address, time/day of most activity and where they make transactions (side door, alley, etc.). If there is a crime in progress, report it to 911.
What should I do if I see a crime being committed?
Call 9-1-1. The person answering will ask you about the type of emergency and its location.
Can the Garfield Heights Police Department help if I am locked out of my car?
Yes, a patrolman will have you sign a waiver releasing the City of any liability.
Ohio law requires every dog owner to renew their dog’s license between December 1 and January 31 of each year. To obtain or renew a dog license, contact the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s office by phone or online.
Child Restraint Law
The Ohio Revised Code states that children under 4 years of age or less than 40 pounds must ride in a child restraint safety system. The October 2009 addition to the law requires children between the ages of 4 and 7 to ride in a booster seat until they weigh 40 pounds or more and are taller than 4-foot-9-inches. Ohio's child restraint law calls for adult seat belts for children between the ages of 8 and 14. Persons 15 years of age and older are covered by a separate Ohio seat belt law, according to IIHS. That law requires seat belt use in all seating positions for 8-to-14-year olds. For those over 15, the law only mandates seat belt use in the vehicle’s front seats.
Are people allowed to solicit without approval?
No, a person or person(s) that are looking to solicit within the City of Garfield Heights needs to request a license or Certificate of Registration through the Building Department, which is located at the Garfield Heights Civic Center, 5407 Turney Road. However, persons going door to door that are only passing out informational pamphlets do not need a permit.
What do I need to do when I hear the tornado siren?
The siren is activated to warn the citizens that the National Weather Service has issued a Tornado Warning in Cuyahoga County. You should proceed to the basement of your house and tune to a local radio or television station for further information. If you do not have a basement, then you should take shelter in an interior closet. You should avoid calling the Police or Fire Department for information about the siren. The siren is tested on the first Saturday of the month at noon for one minute.
Remembering Our Fallen
- Patrolman Hubert S. Smykowski
Patrolman Hubert S. Smykowski
Garfield Heights Police Department
End of Watch: October 5, 1976
By: Keith Witkowski, Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society
Hubert Smykowski, Sr. was a police officer in Garfield Heights until he died in action on October 5, 1976. "Bert," as everyone called him, was appointed to the Garfield Heights Police Department on July 16, 1962.
On October 5th at 6:00 a.m., Smykowski and other officers responded to a hit-skip accident that involved a car that had crashed into a house on East Boulevard. Witnesses advised that two men left the scene and fled on foot toward Miles Avenue in Cleveland.
Smykowski and two other officers searched the area and found two men that matched the description; they chased one suspect to a house on East 126th Street and Miles Avenue where he jumped through the picture window. Smykowski and the other officers followed and found the suspect in a closet. After a brief struggle, the suspect was handcuffed. Smykowski collapsed on the way to his cruiser and was rushed to Marymount Hospital where he died of a massive heart attack at 6:42 a.m.
The second suspect was arrested a short time later.
Officer Smykowski resided with his family on Shadyoak Boulevard in Garfield Heights. He was survived by his wife of twenty-one years, Joan and their three children, Yvonne, 19, Hubert, Jr., 18, and Jeffery, 13.
Mrs. Smykowski said to me, "Don't let anybody tell you that time heals because it doesn't. I remember the day Bert died as if it were yesterday. Bert enjoyed being a cop and loved to keep busy. He loved working on cars and playing pinochle and especially enjoyed remodeling the house."
It rained the day Bert Smykowski was buried. Many law enforcement officers turned out to honor their fallen comrade; his casket was guarded by two officers while peopled gathered at Rybicki & Son Funeral Home on Turney Road to pay their last respects. The funeral service was held at St. Monica's Church on Rockside Road and officer Smykowski was laid to rest at Calvary Cemetery.
The car involved in the accident was later found to be stolen. The two suspects were apprehended and charged with Patrolman Smykowski's death.
Hubert Smykowski was involved in the implementation of the Police Department computer system. In remembrance, Badge Number 13 is displayed at the Police Department. His name was inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. Panel 39, West Wall, Line 3.
- Sergeant Dennis N. Glivar
Sergeant Dennis N. Glivar
Garfield Heights Police Department
End of Watch: August 14, 1994
By: Lt. Tom Kaiser, Garfield Heights Police Department
August 14, 1994 will be remembered as one of the most tragic dates in the history of the Garfield Heights Police Department. Sgt. Dennis Glivar, a 17 year veteran of GHPD, was fatally wounded by gunfire after being ambushed by an assassin.
Sgt. Glivar will be remembered by his wife Debbie as a loving husband who was always at her side. He was a strong and silent type; who never boasted about his mastery of the martial arts or the Gold Medal he received for weightlifting in a police tournament. He was a respected supervisor, who treated his subordinates fairly and led by example.
On that fateful day in August, Sgt. Glivar and his partner Lt. Kaiser, responded to a call that a man fired a weapon in the parking lot of an apartment complex. En-route, the dispatcher advised that a male had been shot and that Ptl. Cermak was under fire.
Upon arrival, Sgt. Glivar and Lt. Kaiser were advised the suspect fled to the rear of the apartment building. Bystanders stated the suspect also shot a man who was in a second floor apartment. Sgt. Glivar and Lt. Kaiser cautiously entered the apartment building and found the gunshot victim. They retreated in order to safely escort medical personnel to the victim.
Unfortunately, Sgt. Glivar and Lt. Kaiser were unaware the suspect resided in the apartment at the bottom of the stairs. When Sgt. Glivar and Lt. Kaiser reached the first floor landing, the suspect, Harry Mitts, flung open his apartment door and fired at the officers. The suspect fired two weapons, a 44 magnum revolver and a 9 mm pistol. Sgt. Glivar was shot seven times in the torso; he stumbled down the hall where he collapsed and died.
Lt. Kaiser was shot in the chest and right hand and managed to return fire and shoot Harry Mitts in the hip and the foot. Despite his wounds, the suspect held police at bay for the next five hours and he was taken into custody by the S.W.A.T. team.
On Thursday, August 18, 1994, funeral services were held at St. Leo the Great Church and Sgt. Glivar was laid to rest at Holy Cross Cemetery. Thousands of police officers from the local area and as far away as Pittsburgh, PA attended.
On October 19, 1994, Sgt. Glivar was posthumously awarded the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor in a ceremony that honored him and his fellow officers for their courage and commitment to duty. On November 17, 1994, these awards and a plaque were presented to his wife.
Harry Mitts received the death penalty and was sentenced to die on August 14, 1995.
Dennis Glivar's name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Panel 28, E -19.
- Patrolman Michael W. Brown
Patrolman Michael W. Brown
Garfield Heights Police Department
End of Watch: December 8, 1994
By: Ptl. Bryan Cwiklinski, Garfield Heights Police Department
On December 8, 1994, Patrolman Robert Stefanov and Patrolman Michael Brown were killed in an accident while in a high speed pursuit.
Mike chose to serve the public and became a Police Officer. Early on, Mike developed into an excellent officer; if not the first responder, he was often the first available to arrive as back-up. He had great respect for the badge and was honored to wear it.
I became best of friends with Mike because we worked the same shift for nearly three years. Mike's personality and attitude really made him stand out in a crowd. He was known for his practical jokes and wise-cracks, always in good taste. Mike was dedicated to his job and made sure he stayed in shape through a rigorous exercise regime.
Off the job, Mike was well known for lending out his Izuzu pick-up. If you needed to move something, Mike was the first volunteer and he never complained. Mike always placed the needs of friends and family before his own. He was at his best when helping others. If you were in a bad mood, Mike made it his mission to make you smile.
Mike left behind many friends. The person who stole his heart, was his seven year old daughter, Ericka. Mike gave her his undivided attention and he always said he was proud to be her father.
I always looked forward to working a two-man unit with Mike because we were so compatible. I do not think I will ever have this opportunity again. The City of Garfield Heights lost an excellent young patrolman, who will never be replaced.
Michael Brown's name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 34, E -19.
- Patrolman Robert A. Stefanov
Patrolman Robert A. Stefanov
Garfield Heights Police Department
End of Watch: December 8, 1994
By: Detective Robert Soltis, Garfield Heights Police Department
There was only one thing that Bob Stefanov wanted to do, to follow in his father's footsteps and become a police officer. On September 18, 1989, Bob's dream came true, when he was appointed a Patrolman for the Garfield Heights Police Department.
A few days later was my luckiest day (although I did not know it at the time). I was asked to be Bob's training officer. After twenty years with the department and having trained my share of "rookies,” I reluctantly said yes.
I liked Bob immediately. To this day, I am not sure why, though it could have been his happy demeanor or the way he said that could not wait to get on the road.
I did not have to teach Bob too much. He was a natural at this job, always eager to do everything right. He always asked questions about proper procedures and the best way to handle particular situations. I observed Bob in several situations and thought to myself that "this rookie is going to make one great cop." He had terrific “cop instincts” but was compassionate and watched out for his fellow officers. Bob Stefanov was one guy you wanted for back-up.
I may have trained Bob, but he taught me something in return, the meaning of "true" friendship. We were more than partners, we were best friends. Actually, we were more like father and son. That is how much we cared about one another.
During our friendship, I learned a lot about Bob. He worked as a security guard at Sears in Randall Mall before being hired at Garfield Heights. He was so proud the day he was sworn in, because he was fulfilled his dream of following in his father's footsteps. He always hoped to be as good a cop as his Dad had been.
Bob enjoyed talking about his parents, his brother Joe, and his girlfriend Sue. However, when he talked about his children, Elizabeth (seven) and Michael (six), there was no stopping him. He would talk endlessly about family activities and the plans he had for the future. He truly loved and treasured every moment he spent with them.
On December 8, 1994 at approximately 3:00 a.m., our lives changed. Patrolmen Bob Stefanov and Mike Brown observed a suspicious vehicle at McCracken and Broadway Roads. As they approached to investigate, the vehicle drove off. They followed. Dispatchers advised that the owner of the vehicle was wanted on a traffic warrant. The pursuit continued to Lee and Harvard Roads where a vehicle crossed their path and in their attempt to avoid the vehicle, they lost control. Their car struck two utility poles and fatally injured both officers.
There is a “bond of brothers” between officers. Even so, I felt Bob and I had an extra special bond. I was proud to have trained him, served with him, and above all, to have developed a close friendship with him. Work is not the same - because Bob is not there.
I truly believe that Patrolman Bob Stefanov, Patrolman Mike Brown and Sgt. Dennis Glivar are at peace and with God. I know they are watching over all of us who put our lives on the line everyday and that they are praying that we do not have to make the ultimate sacrifice as they had.
Robert A. Stefanov's name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall in Washington D.C. Panel 24, E -19.
and Patrolman Pat Hace with K-9 Rosco.
The K-9 Team works regular uniform patrol and responds to a variety of calls such as: burglaries, building searches, article searches, suspect tracking, area/building searches for suspects/narcotics as well as officer-safety assists. Canine officers may also assist on other police calls but the K-9 Team tries to stay available for calls where the K-9 Team may be deployed. Canine teams also participate in many civic functions and educational demonstrations throughout the year.
Police Dogs that are used for locating narcotics are called Narcotic Detection or Drug Dogs. These dogs are trained to find the scent of marijuana, heroin, methamphetamine and cocaine. Dogs that make good drug dogs have a high “play or ball drive.” The dogs are trained to search buildings, vehicles, open areas, luggage and packages. A drug dog's “alert,” in itself, may be considered sufficient probable cause for a search warrant to be obtained.
Dogs that are used for locating criminal suspects are called Patrol Dogs. These dogs are trained to locate human scent. A dog's nose is estimated to be anywhere from 100 to 1,000,000 times stronger than the human nose. Patrol dogs search buildings and open areas, track suspects that have fled an area and can locate any evidence that a suspect discards. Patrol dogs search buildings or open areas simply by trying to locate any human scent in that area. A patrol dog can search a building or area faster, with less manpower and more safely and accurately than an officer. A patrol dog is also able to locate evidence that a suspect may have discarded. The dog does this by, again, searching for human scent. When a person handles a gun, knife, wallet or any other object and discards it, that person's scent remains on the object for a period of time. The dog may find this evidence while on a track or when called to search an area after a suspect has been located.