Making a Difference: Dayton man crafts shadow boxes for families of fallen law enforcement officers

DAYTON — Inspired after the death of Dayton police detective and Drug Enforcement Agency officer Jorge Del Rio, a Dayton man is making a difference for families of other fallen law enforcement officers by crafting shadow boxes made for their memories.

>>RELATED: A family remembers Dayton Detective Jorge Del Rio, one year after he was killed

Greg Seitz started his wood carving business in east Dayton in 2008, after he lost his job as a furniture maker.

“I make flag cases and shadow boxes; this is what I do. I’ve been a wood worker for 35 years,” Seitz said.

His paying customers can wait up to six months to get their orders, and some maybe longer, because Seitz’s order list grows for the ones he makes for free.

After the shooting and death of Del Rio in November 2019, Seitz, whose son is in law enforcement, said he felt an obligation to help the family of the fallen officer.

“This is an officer who is in my backyard. I want to do what I can do. Its simple,” Seitz said.

So he went to work, and created a shadow box and gave it to Del Rio’s family to place their memories of the fallen officer after his death.

But he hasn’t stopped there. Since Del Rio’s death he’s made almost 20 additional boxes for free and sent them to the families of fallen law enforcement officers across the country.

“I know these (boxes) mean something to people," he said. “My heart goes out to all of (the families).”

Seitz said he checks a national website nearly every day that keeps watch on when and how law enforcement officers die in the U.S., knowing that more will show up on the list.

“They are people like you and me, they want go to work, come home have dinner and fall asleep on the couch,” he said.