Remembering Officer Sean Johnson

Posted May 5, 2017 in Police by Andrea Litchfield


May 19 will never be the same in Hilliard. This year, it marks the first anniversary of the loss of one of the Hilliard Division of Police’s own: Officer Sean Johnson.

Each spring, the City of Hilliard holds a Peace Officers Memorial Day service at First Responders Park to honor all Ohio police officers killed in the line of duty. This years’ service will be different. Instead of being held on May 15, the traditional date for the ceremony, the service will be held May 19, the date of Officer Johnson’s death. “For us, it forever changes the meaning of the program, now that we’ve lost one of our own,” said Hilliard Chief of Police Robert Fisher.

The ceremony will be a special time to commemorate Officer Johnson, who was the first Hilliard officer killed in the line of duty since the department’s creation in 1957. This year, a new memorial will be added to the park to honor fallen heroes in the community. It will read, “Dedicated to those First Responders who safeguard us in life and made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our community. They continue to serve today by reminding us that dedication, compassion and sacrifice represent the best in all of us. Our Heroes, Our Hearts… We Shall Never Forget.”

Officer Johnson is being remembered beyond the City of Hilliard. On Thursday, May 4, members of the Division, in addition to Officer Johnson’s family, will travel to London, Ohio for the Ohio Peace Officers’ Memorial Ceremony. There, he will be recognized for his selfless service. The Johnson family will have the opportunity to unfurl a flag to be placed on his monument.

National Police Week takes place from May 15 to May 21. Every year on the West Lawn of the Capitol in Washington, D.C., the nation honors all fallen officers from the previous year. Hilliard’s Honor Guard, Mayor Don Schonhardt, and several of the Division’s officers will travel to the national ceremony, representing the Hilliard community at the event for the first time. Officer Andy Anderson will travel with the Johnson family, escorting them for the duration of the trip. During the ceremony, the family will be able to place a wreath at the monument.

“We continue to adjust to our new normal,” said Chief Fisher. “Our police family continues to heal, our community continues to heal, but it will never be the same.”