GREATER CLEVELAND PEACE
OFFICERS MEMORIAL SOCIETY
and WOODLAND CEMETERY FOUNDATION
join forces to provide
Memorial Markers for Officers
Woodland Cemetery Foundation had joined with the Greater Cleveland Peace Officers Memorial Society to provide Markers/Headstones for four Cleveland Police Officers. One is Cleveland’s first police chief; the others are officers fallen in the line of duty. All are currently in unmarked graves at Woodland Cemetery. The total cost of this program is approximately $12,000. If you can help, please click the PayPal button below, or go to our contributions page.
John N. Frazee (1829 – 1917) – Cleveland’s First Police Chief –
Mr. Frazee was a volunteer Civil War officer as well as Cleveland’s first police chief. He came to Cleveland from New York in 1850 and was appointed Chief of Police in 1852 – the first chief in the department’s history. He served as a corporal in the Cleveland Grays before the outbreak of the Civil War, and left the police department to enlist in April of 1861. In August of 1864 he was mustered out as a Captain of the Cleveland Grays. He was married with one son.
Fallen Officers with unmarked graves:
Alfred Ressler (1888 – 1918)
Alfred Ressler was only 30 when he was killed after his police motorcycle was struck by a vehicle (this was the time of the horseless carriage) while on patrol. He had been with the agency for five years. Patrolman Ressler became the first of many officers that have died in the performance of their duty in motor vehicle accidents.
Henry Richter (1875 – 1925)
Henry Richter, born in Cleveland, was forty-nine years old when he succumbed to several gunshot wounds he received during a stakeout at a gas station. The known robber died from the wounds he received from Officer Richter in the shoot-out. Richter was a US Navy Veteran of the Spanish American War and had served with the Cleveland Police Force for eighteen years. He left a wife and five children.
Otto Ziska ( 1883 – 1940)
Officer Ziska, born in Bohemia, joined the Cleveland Police Department in August of 1918. He had been with the 5th Emergency Squad since 1922, when on May 15, 1929, he responded to the Cleveland Clinic where there had been a huge explosion with numerous dead and injured. He repeatedly entered the burning building through heavy smoke and gases to rescue trapped persons. This heroic action resulted in his having severe medical problems from inhaling the large amounts of poisonous gases emitted from burning x-ray films. While 192 people died as an immediate result of the fire, it is not known how many died later from those fumes.
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