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Columbus State honors fallen officers with badge insignias on plane

Campus News | Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Training plan honors fallen officers

Columbus State Community College has honored three area officers who were killed in the line of duty.

A Columbus State-branded training jet used in the college’s Aviation Maintenance program now bears the police badge insignias of Columbus Police Officer Steve Smith and Westerville Police Officers Anthony Morelli and Eric Joering.

Both Smith and Joering trained in law enforcement exercises using the jet to prepare for terrorism incidents, hostage situations, and other aviation-related scenarios. The coordinator for the Aviation program knew both officers through those training exercises and wanted a way to honor their memory.

Columbus State’s student-run marketing group Studio 413 designed the plane’s college-branded exterior and incorporated the badges into the design before they were attached ahead of a dedication ceremony today at the aviation facility at the college’s Southwest Center at Bolton Field regional learning center.

Attendees at the July 31 event included Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs and Westerville Police Chief Joe Morbitzer, Columbus State President David Harrison and Columbus State Police Chief Sean Asbury, along with some family members of the fallen officers.

Chief Jacobs says, “These officers made the ultimate sacrifice. Honoring their memory and their service reminds all of us of the dangers faced by the men and women in law enforcement.”

Chief Morbitzer adds, “The devastating and tragic loss of an officer impacts not only their families and colleagues, but the shock is also felt throughout communities. Remembering them at this training site will forever emphasize their careers and service.”

“For the college, this is one way we can attempt to help heal a deep wound,” says Dr. Harrison. Our police forces serve us each and every day and they help maintain the rule of law by which we all live.”

Columbus State’s Southwest Center at Bolton Field opened in 1976 and houses the college's Aviation Maintenance Technology program, in which students may pursue technical training for the Airframe and Power Plant Certificate or the Associate Degree of Applied Science. In addition to the Aviation courses, the Regional Learning Center offers general education classes in the afternoon and evenings.


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