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Deputy Sheriff Bruce E. Mettler | Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Ohio Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Ohio

Deputy Sheriff

Bruce E. Mettler

Ottawa County Sheriff's Office, Ohio

End of Watch: Friday, December 9, 1983

Bio & Incident Details

Age: Not available

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Military veteran

Cause: Aircraft accident

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Deputy Sheriff Bruce Mettler, Sergeant Robert Rigoni of the Port Clinton Police Department, and Dispatcher Michael Sweeney of the Put-in-Bay Police Department were killed when the plane they were riding in crashed into Lake Erie.

The officers were travelling to assist a police chief on a neighboring island who was suffering a heart attack. All four occupants of the plane were killed in the accident.

Deputy Mettler was a U.S. Army veteran.

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Related Line of Duty Deaths

Sergeant Robert B. Rigoni
Port Clinton Police Department, Ohio
End of Watch: Friday, December 9, 1983
Cause: Aircraft accident

Dispatcher Michael L. Sweeney
Put-in-Bay Police Department, Ohio
End of Watch: Friday, December 9, 1983
Cause: Aircraft accident

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Most Recent Reflection

Bruce was also a paramedic and former Army Ranger. In Medina, he was a founding member of the first full time EMS in the county, as was I. His experience earned him a supervisory role and I worked with him. In April 1983, when he was 5, my son was gravely injured when he was run over by a 4 wheel drive pickup in a parking lot. I found out that Bruce, who had by then moved his family to Put-in-Bay, called Akron Children's Hospital every day to check on how he was doing. Later that summer he invited us to Put-in-Bay where he surprised him with a plane ride and a day on a Charter Boat. When I heard about the crash, I went there as quickly as I could because besides wanting to offer whatever comfort I could, all of their trained EMS responders were killed and I found when I got there, I was temporarily taking on that role.

All of this long reflection is that Bruce proved what a great friend he was when we really needed it and when he died, God gave me the chance to return his kindness, even if only a small way, as our department stepped up and many members were flown by Ohio National Guard helicopter to work there on their days off. I am so proud to have called Bruce and his family dear friends and was very proud of how so many people went to help protect the people Bruce always took so good care of.

Daniel Lackey, Chief of Operations a
Medina Life Support Team (Ret)
February 17, 2015

 

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