Cleveland Police mark 5th anniversary of fallen officer's death

(photo: Cleveland Police Dept.)

On Friday, in honor of National Police Week, the city of Cleveland marked the fifth anniversary of the death of one of its own.

On May 20th, 2012, Officer Justin Maples was responding to a call when he crashed into a utility pole off of South Lee Highway in front of the Holiday Motel.

Mapels was rushed to the hospital, where he later died.

His death marked the first death of a Cleveland Police Officer since 1955.

Mapels was a Cleveland native, and served as a member of the department’s SWAT team for seven years before his death.

He left behind a wife and three children, all under the age of 5 at the time of his death. Maples was 35 years old.

The Cleveland Police Department has continued to honor Officer Maples each year, near the anniversary of his death in 2012.

The city of Cleveland and the department honored Maples' memory Friday morning in a short memorial service at the Bradley/Cleveland Memorial Wall:

After lowering a flag to half-staff, they released balloons in honor of his memory.

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