Detective James M. Skernivitz

Detective James M. Skernivitz

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Thursday, September 3, 2020

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James M. Skernivitz

Detective James Skernivitz was shot and killed at about 10:00 pm in the area of West 65th Street and Storer Avenue while working in an undercover capacity as part of a federal task force supporting Operation Legend.

An informant who was with Detective Skernivitz was also killed when three subjects approached the vehicle and attempted to rob them. Two juveniles and an adult were arrested and charged with aggravated murder, aggravated robbery, and felonious assault.

Detective Skernivitz had served with the Cleveland Division of Police for 25 years. He was assigned to the Gang Impact Unit and the FBI's Violent Crimes Task Force. He is survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 53
  • Tour 25 years
  • Badge 2249

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Charged with murder

juvenile offender, robbery, undercover


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On behalf of the Ohio Attorney Generals Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, our thoughts and prayers are with the immediate family of Detective James M. Skernivitz and the extended law enforcement family of the Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio.

End of Watch Thursday, September 3, 2020.

Rest in Peace brother and watch over us. We will protect and serve from here on in your honor.

I fight not for glory or fame, for they are momentary. I fight for those who can't. I fight for Justice. I fight for the oppressed and the down trodden. And if I should lose my life for these just causes, then I have no regrets, For I serve to protect the innocent. It matters not where or when, for evil knows no boundaries. Be it fire, flood, or the threat of tyranny, I will not flee. Justice is my weapon. Faith is my shield. Hope is my armor. Cry not at my passing, for it was my Honor to fight for you. Shed not tears of sorrow, But tears of joy, for now, I stand with God.

By Jon F. Hooper

"Greater love hath no man than this; that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

September 20, 2020

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