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Fallen Officer Honored With Memorial Wall

Major Brian Johns DPD

This week, City officials will dedicate a mural in honor of fallen Dayton Police Officer William "Steve" Whalen who was killed in the line of duty in 1991 while attempting to stop a vehicle wanted in connection with a shooting at a local hotel.

In the incident, the driver opened the rear window of his truck and fired an AR-15 rifle. Whalen returned fire twice but was struck in the head and killed. The suspect was apprehended and sentenced to life in prison. In 2011, then Governor Ted Strickland, denied the clemency request of Karl Vultee—the man who killed Whalen.

"Another year has passed and you are still admired and respectfully remembered in the hearts and minds of so many...." James Sheppard Father of Sgt. Jason L. Sheppard EOW 12/7/06 March 22, 2010. From the Officer Down Memorial Page at www.odmp.org:
The Officer Down Memorial Page, Inc

Officials say the Whalen Memorial Mural was planned and completed by students of Reclaiming Futures—a teen alcohol, drug, and crime recovery center in Dayton, East End Community Services and the Dayton Graffiti Task Force.

Those groups says the mural in Whalen’s honor will cover a roadside wall that has attracted graffiti in recent years.  

Major Brian Johns of the Dayton Police Department says the mural will be dedicated on the street that already bears Whalen’s name.

“When I would drive by there and that wall would be tied up with graffiti and profanity on Steve Whalen Boulevard, you know it wasn’t good to have that there," said Officer John's. "So we wanted to do a mural there and just made it happen, and that wall now talks more about community and togetherness along with the officer who gave his life.”

Friday’s ceremony will take place at 3:30 in the afternoon, on Steve Whalen Boulevard near Wyoming Street.