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Fatal shooting of Westerville police officers resonates with local law enforcement

Fatal shooting of Westerville police officers resonates with local law enforcement (WKEF/WRGT)

MIAMI VALLEY, Ohio (WKEF/WRGT) - The fatal shooting of two Westerville police officers is resonating with local law enforcement. Several local departments have been showing their support through social media, including the Dayton Police Department wearing mourning bands on their badges.

Flags across the Miami Valley were also flying at half-staff on Monday in honor of officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli.

"It's a sobering reminder of how dangerous the law enforcement job is," Cedarville Professor Dr. Patrick Oliver said.

Dr. Oliver lived through that pain, having lost two of his officers in the line of duty while he was chief of police in Cleveland.

"That's a very difficult time for you as a chief," he said. "You're dealing with the sadness of a family, sadness of a department and the community asking questions about, 'Why did this happen', and 'Did the officers do everything they could do'."

Which is why the support from Miami Valley law enforcement means so much.

"That outpouring of support from fellow officers from the region and around the country I think helps the healing process," Dr. Oliver said. "And it helps show the honor and prestige, if you will, of being a law enforcement officer."

The professor knows Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer and said he runs a good department, but calls like the one on Saturday pose extreme challenges.

"A domestic violence call is the most dangerous call law enforcement can respond to," he said, "because you have people that are enraged at the scene. There might be alcohol or drugs involved. There's already been a violent occurrence."

Dr. Oliver said every law enforcement agency has a domestic violence protocol, and officers are trained to have the highest level of alertness when responding to these calls.

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