Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman James R. Wert

Ravenna Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Saturday, January 31, 1981

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Reflections for Patrolman James R. Wert

Must have been a awesome ravenna officer.......I really feel frank seman has done
a great job with the park rememberance

Denise paolucci
ravenna citizen

March 13, 2021

Some anniversaries celebrate joyous events, yet others note days of sadness. Today is a day of sadness -- the 40th anniversary of your passing. I often think about what might have been had we not lost you that night. FYI, your name sake is still a member of the Fairfax County (VA) Police Department and, like you did, loves his job. Please continue to look over him while he's on patrol. Know that as long as I live, you will never be forgotten, but you will be forever missed.

Lou Sadler, Esq.
College Roommate & Friend

January 31, 2021

NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorney Generals Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman James R. Wert of the Ravenna Police Department, Ohio and the additional 71 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

January 31, 2021

NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman James R. Wert of the Ravenna Police Department, Ohio and the additional 71 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation

January 31, 2020

Rest in peace Patrolman Wert.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

March 4, 2019

NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Westerville, Ohio Division of Police, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman James R. Wert of the Ravenna Police Department, Ohio and the additional 69 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Chief Joe Morbitzer
Westerville, Ohio Division of Police

January 31, 2018

As a retired Police Chief and current Pastor of The New Testament Baptist Church in Ravenna, Ohio, I am thankful for the memories of my friend and comrade James Wirt. I am thankful to head up a project of distributing a Commemorative Edition of John & Romans to the families, friends and comrades of our fallen officers at the NLEFM ceremonies 2016 in Washington D.C. May memories and God's grace abound with the Wirt Family!

Retired Chief Robert Burgess
Brimfield P.D.

May 4, 2016

Jim -- it has been 35 years since you were so suddenly taken from us. I regret that our respective military service kept us apart so much those last years. I will always remember the last time we were together. I came home for holiday leave. We met for dinner and you introduced me to your new bride. That night you confided to me that you were finally happy and your internal demons were quieted. You had the job you had always dreamed of and had just married the love of your life. I have always taken comfort in the fact that, although it was only for a short time, you had found what many never find. As you know, my oldest son, James (your namesake and would have been godson), is completing his rookie year with the Fairfax County (VA) PD. I felt your presence at his academy graduation/pinning ceremony. Sorry for the quiet tears, but police officers in dress uniforms marching to bagpipes opened memories and feelings of loss. Needless to say, it was not my first choice of careers for him, but I learned long ago with you that you have to let one follow their heart. When you can, please ride with him and keep him safe. My friend, know that you will never be forgotten.

Lou Sadler
College Roommate & Friend Forever

February 1, 2016

Patrolman Wert,
On today, the 34th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served in the U.S. Army. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

January 31, 2015

A day doesn't go by that you are not missed.

Christopher Wert

January 7, 2015

It seems like yesterday, that cold night the we lost a great friend and outstanding Police Officer. We will never forget as we remember this day every year.

Captain Steve Eatinger (RETIRED)
Ravenna Police Department

January 30, 2013

Your heroism and service is honored today, the 31rst 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

Time never diminishes respect and your memory will always be honored and revered.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

January 31, 2012

Officer Wert,

I was only 18 months old when you passed, but I have come to know your brother through his fine work with the Ravenna PD, and I know that you were a good man. Your service to the people of Ravenna will never be forgotten.


January 4, 2009

That frigid night in January is forever etched into my mind, although it has been over 25 years. I introduced Jim to his wife, and the last time I spoke with him was at their wedding.
Even though I only knew Jim for a couple of years, he was mature beyond his years. I'll never forget the day his girl was driving by while he was out on a traffic stop. She waved excitedly at her boyfriend, only to rear-end the car in front of her. Jim didn't want to handle the accident, but his supervisor made him, so he had to write his future wife a ticket.
She gave me the card that I put on the flowers. I still carry it in my badge case today.
The officer-who protected me
The man-who called me beautiful
The friend-who gave me courage to carry on and enjoy love and life"
Jim, you will be forever in my heart.
God bless all those he left behind.

Laura Gearig
Dear Friend

July 5, 2008


Pat Van Den Berghe
Neighbors for a Better Manchester, NH

January 22, 2008

"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 8, 2008

I want to thank Officer Wert for his service and his sacrifice. I also want to thank his brother for his continuing service. I was born in Ravenna and now live in California, however, my family still lives in Ravenna. I thank you for keeping them safe. God bless you.

Officer John Valeri
U.S. Customs and border Protection

January 25, 2007



June 13, 2006

Thank you for your service and sacrifice, sir.

A Citizen

May 26, 2006

I knew Jim from Hiram College. In fact, we were brothers in the Delphic frat. We also went through Ohio Basic Peace Officers Training at the Maplewood JVS in the same class. Jim was a dedicated patrolman, and a credit to the Ravenna PD. I remember the circumstances under which I received word of his sacrifice on behalf of the people of Ravenna. To this day, when I drive by the spot where Jim gave his life, I stop and remember, and salute his memory. Rest well, Jim.
Dana Flemming, Solon, Ohio

former patrolman
Hiram, Ohio PD

February 28, 2006

I have been a cop for 30 yrs. and had the privilege of knowing Jim Wert. He started as a dispatcher for our dept. while attending Hiram College. Jim was a dedicated professional and loved being a cop. Jim was a reflection of his family who are all dedicated professionals. I went to college with his sister Lynn and worked for 8 yrs. with his brother Dave. His mother and father should be very proud of the legacy that Jim left of the Wert family. He is sadly missed
but fondly remembered.

Detective John Brindo
Hiram Police Dept.

April 24, 2004

Twenty-one years ago, our famlily was changed forever. Jim was doing the job he loved so dearly, serving and protecting the people of Ravenna. One tragic moment, one poor choice, ended his life at just twenty-five years old. A loving husband, a wonderful son and one of a kind brother was taken from our close knit family. The pain has eased, memories are fond and his spirit lives on in all of us.

Many men live long life's but are soon forgotten for their life's accomplishments. Jim will always be remembered for his sense of duty, honor and his ultimate sacrifice.

Today I proudly serve with the Ravenna Police Department, just as my brother Jim did. Thank you Jim for being the fine role model for me to follow as a police officer. Honor, truth and service to the public. I will always remember you as the special and loving brother who told me I can,when I believed I couldn't.

In loving memory, your brother,

Ptl David Wert
Ravenna Police Department
June 25, 2001


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