The following is a listing of Lima officers that have paid the ultimate price while serving the city. They are heroes and will never be forgotten.
PATROLMAN WILLIAM F. BROWN, age 41
Patrolman Brown was shot and killed when he interrupted a robbery in progress at a local gas station while on patrol. His end of watch was January 5th, 1974.
When he entered the gas station, he asked the attendant if everything was okay. The attendant, who had been told by the suspect to cooperate, responded that everything was fine.
Patrolman Brown then asked the suspect to remove the covering from his face, the man suddenly produced a gun and opened fire, striking Patrolman Brown four times. Patrolman Brown was able to fire one round as he fell. He then crawled to his patrol car and called for assistance before succumbing to his wounds.
The suspect and his accomplice, both 18, fled the store but both were eventually apprehended. On January 11, 1975, the gunman was sentenced to life in prison. He has a parole hearing on February 1, 2024. His accomplice was convicted of involuntary manslaughter and robbery, and sentenced to two consecutive 7 to 25 year prison terms.
Patrolman Brown had served with the Lima Police Department for 16 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, five sons, and his mother.
PATROLMAN CHARLES C. BOZEMAN, age 43
Patrolman Bozeman was killed during an air raid practice drill when an air raid bomb prematurely exploded in his face. Seven others were injured, one critically. Bozeman's End of Watch Date was December 10th, 1951.
DETECTIVE CHARLES E. HEFNER, age 36
Detective Hefner was shot and killed when he and another detective responded to a domestic disturbance in which the male subject was armed with a revolver. When the detectives confronted the man he attempted to shoot the other detective and a struggle ensued. The man and the officers fell into the kitchen and the suspect's revolver discharged. The round struck Detective Hefner in the throat. The other detective continued to struggle with the suspect and the weapon was fired again. The second round struck the suspect and instantly killed him.
Detective Hefner was transported to Lima St. Rita's Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries 27 days later.
Detective Hefner had served with the Lima Police Department for 9 years and is the youngest officer to have died in the line of duty. He was survived by his wife, parents, and brothers. Hefner's incident date is listed as February 1st, 1951 and his End Of Watch date was February 27th, 1951.
PATROLMAN PHILLIP DROESCH, age 38
Patrolman Droesch was shot and killed following the robbery of a pawn shop. The suspect had exchanged shots with officers following the robbery but was able to escape. Patrolman Droesch was off duty, but had been called in to help search for the suspect. He observed a man near Jackson Street and High Street who appeared to be staggering. Thinking the man was intoxicated and injured, Patrolman Droesch approached him to give him assistance.
The suspect suddenly pulled out a gun and shot Patrolman Droesch. The officer was transported to Lima City Hospital where he died early the next morning.
The 27-year-old suspect was apprehended and convicted of murdering Patrolman Droesch. He was committed to the Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. He escaped on September 4, 1928 and again on January 7, 1945.
Patrolman Droesch was survived by his wife and four children. Droesch's incident was the day before his End Of Watch date which was October 25th, 1918.
PATROLMAN PHILIP GOEBLE, age 42
Patrolman Philip Goeble succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained 18 months earlier when he and his partner attempted to arrest three men wanted for an armed robbery.
One of the men opened fire, striking Patrolman Goeble several times. The triggerman was shot and killed by return fire. The other two suspects were apprehended and sentenced to four years in the Ohio State Penitentiary.
Goeble's incident date was June 6th, 1900, and his End Of Watch date was December 30th, 1902.