Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman John A. Utlak

Niles Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, December 8, 1982

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Reflections for Patrolman John A. Utlak

Both your murderers were denied parole a few weeks ago. Neither is eligible to be considered again for at least 10 more years!! You are never forgotten Officer Utlak.

Tom Vecchione

October 5, 2021

I grew up with Johnny on mistletoe Road he was for five years older than me he used to be all of our idols we used to have so much fun with him God bless him his parents and his sister tootsie

David Fabrizio

December 9, 2019

NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman John A. Utlak of the Niles Police Department, Ohio and the additional 81 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

December 8, 2018

John I never knew you, but I will always remember you. It’s been more than 35 years since you came into my life. I am the guy that stopped Joseph shortly after midnight December 11th, 1982 in Cheyenne WY for a traffic violation. But by the grace of God I would be laying at rest with you, he had your murder weapon in his pocket but chose not to use it. I had no idea the car was stolen because the NCIC system was down. He was polite and was joking at the time, I had no idea he and Fellows had just taken your life. Things didn’t add up with his story so I took him to the station, he gave me his dad’s phone number so I called to see if he was a runaway, that’s when I found out they were wanted for your death. In retrospect it was probably you that was looking out for me on that car stop and for that I Thank You! I thank you and all first responders for their service.

Former Cheyenne Police Officer Jim

September 7, 2018

RIP brother, you will always be remembered.

Officer J. Honeycutt
Utah Valley University Police Dept.

May 30, 2018

I was born on the same day John Utlak was murdered. My dad was sworn in as a NPD officer a month after his death. Every time so visited my dad at work he'd always point to the plaque on the wall with John's picture. My parents have told me stories of how Utlak's parents brought my parents baby gifts when my dad was hired into the department-even though they were still grieving for their son. Every year on my birthday I think of this officer even though I never knew him. Every time I hear of an officer killed in the line of duty my heart breaks into a million pieces and I say a prayer for the fallen and for those who put their lives on the line to protect their community. God bless our police officers and first responders everywhere.


February 13, 2018

NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman John A. Utlak of the Niles Police Department, Ohio and the additional 81 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

December 8, 2017

John I will never forget you. You were my partner and my friend. You are deeply missed everyday of my life

Bob Ludt
Partner and Friend

Chief Bob Ludt
Vienna Township Police

May 23, 2017

johnny, i was young when this horrible thing happened but i remember it like it was yesterday. You were always there for me and help me in so many facets of my young life. The big brother i never had. I miss you and love you cuz. May god rest your soul . SO reserve a court we will play tennis again one day.

allen chubb

June 19, 2014

I often think of John and all the members of Niles PD whom I had the pleasure of working with. I worked John's case and had the pleasure of returning Randy Fellows from Wyoming to Trumbull County and his fate.

Though my last memory of John is from the crime scene, I chose to remember him and his parter Bobby, hooking up with me and partner. Those were the best of times.

Chief Investigator RJ Dailey

August 13, 2013

In Honor of a Police officer from Niles, Ohio JOHN Utlak KILLED IN THE LINE OF DUTY!! 1982 He was the nicest guy you would ever want to meet! The road now going into the Niles Police Station is named Utlak Drive. God Bless Those who stil grieve his memory! The ones who killed them will stay in prison for good!!!!
I sure hope everytime there is a paroll hearing, someone from the NPD goes to tell that board NO to those killers!!
To the family of John Utlak My Prayers to you and yours!!!
Much love to John's Mother, espeially today, on Mother's Day!! God Bless YOU!!

Eve Heim Hagen
formertly Evette Heim

May 12, 2013

John, I knew you for many years and once upon a time we dated. I can still remember the day I saw the article in the paper that you had been killed. I had lost 3 other friends that year also. What a horrible time it was.

Karen Warzala

December 16, 2012

officer Utlak my name is John Cramer I didnt know you at all I was only 2 yrs old when you were killed. I live in Niles now and I know your old partner Rick McFalls aka Silver fox. I appreciate the police officers who put their lives on the line. I really hope this thugs get denied parole god speed

sgt. Cramer St moritz Security

October 3, 2012

A "No parole" letter has been sent, so your cowardly killer remains locked up - and denied the pleasure of living in a world that you made safe for all of us.

Det. Billy Russo (Ret)
Nassau County PD, Nassau NY.

October 2, 2012

A "No Parole" letter for the thug that killed you has been sent. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers. They should not have to endure such hardships after their sacrifice.
You will never be forgotten!

Surviving Daughter of Special Agent J. Robert Porter
Federal Bureau of Investigation
E.O.W. 8/9/79

September 28, 2012

Another "Hero" taken. May God grant you eternal peace. Prayers to your loved ones and to your department.

Det. Billy Russo (Ret)
Nassau County PD, Nassau NY.

September 26, 2012

Patrolman John A. Utlakn, Thank you for your service. My letter will go out today, no parol for these two thugs. God bless your Family and friends, Brother of the badge, Rest in peace.

Retired Police Officer Bob Reed
South Lake Tahoe Police Department

September 25, 2012

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 29th anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

I pray for solace for all those who love and miss you for I know both the pride and pain are forever.

Rest In Peace

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater, PPD, eow 4/24/05

December 8, 2011

Johnny, My Dear Brother and Best Friend,
I honor you every day of my life. I cherish every memory growing up with you for each day was special and a gift. You are my hero, my dear brother. Oh, how I miss you and love you so very much.
Jenny is so had such a wit and passion for life. And your generosity was known and felt by all.
I long for the day for all of us to be together again.

Joanne (Tootsie) Robbins
Devoted Sister

December 30, 2009

I see you picture. I hear your voice. I remember your wit, your generosity, and the young love we shared in high school and college. Only recently have I been able to see you in dreams. You are well and happy. I will live my life on this earth with the same passion and honor that you lived yours, until we see each other, again. Thank you for your service! Thank you for your life!

Jenny Berndt Culver

December 18, 2009

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

January 3, 2008

You are remembered today and thank you Sir for your service

Pat Van Den Berghe, Manchester, NH
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

December 5, 2007

What a loving God we must serve to ensure each generation is supplied with such men,such giants,those willing to walk towards the sound of the guns for without these heros we would surely be damned.

Friend / Dekalb County Police Officer

April 27, 2007

John, I will be making my 1st trip to the wall this year 2007 after 23 years of police work in Dekalb County,Ga. I will consider it a great honor to take an etching of your name from the wall. We went went to school togather many years ago in Youngstown. It was years later that I learned that you had stood your final watch. You are and always will be a true American Hero.

Friend / Dekalb County Police Officer

April 27, 2007

Rest in peace.

December 8, 2006

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