He died pursuing a robbery suspect on I-75. Here’s how this local city is honoring a fallen officer.

Published: Monday, March 26, 2018 @ 10:55 AM
Updated: Saturday, June 09, 2018 @ 12:08 PM

Patrolman Frederick Beard
Patrolman Frederick Beard

The West Carrollton Police Department will host a ceremony outside the city’s Civic Center, 300 E. Central Ave., at 2 p.m. Friday to honor the late Frederick J. Beard, who died more than 35 years ago in the line of duty.

Beard was 35 years old when he was killed during pursuit of a robbery suspect on Feb. 16, 1983. The suspect’s vehicle stopped on Interstate 75 and, and as Beard exited his patrol car, the officer was struck by a tractor-trailer. The suspect Beard was chasing was apprehended and sentenced to 81 years in prison, records show.

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The city will designate a street that runs past the police department as “Officer Fred Beard Way.” A new street sign, memorial bronze marker, bench and restored street lamp with blue light will be unveiled during the ceremony. Members of Officer Beard’s family are scheduled to attend.  

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Six people who knew Beard are planning to speak during the ceremony, including Mayor Jeff Sanner, Council Member Rick Barnhart, Police Chief Doug Woodard, Fire Chief Chris Barnett, Lee Jean Heller and Gene Colon.  

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Taps will be performed by Zeke Swank, a recent graduate of West Carrollton High School. 

The new memorial is designed to serve as a tribute to all police officers who have died while serving. For more information, call West Carrollton Police Chief Doug Woodard at (937) 847-4668.