Mourning period for Westerville ends March 10; chief offers suggestion for bows, lights


WESTERVILLE – Police Chief Joe Morbitzer said that while the official mourning period for the Westerville police officers who died in the line of duty ends March 10, the blue bows and lights do not need to go to waste.

Morbitzer said those who would like to show their support can do so during police memorial week each year, held May 11-16.

Similarly, the third week of October each year is for firefighters when red lights and ribbons can be used.

Morbitzer thanked all those who supported the Westerville police after the loss of officers Eric Joering and Anthony Morelli.

You can read Morbitzer's full statement below:

On behalf of the Westerville Division of Police, we cannot adequately express our gratitude to everyone for your generosity, love, and support over the last three weeks. Words truly cannot convey how grateful we are for all that has been done for the Morelli and Joering family, as well as for our police family.

This support was especially evident with citizens and businesses displaying blue ribbons, posters, and blue lights. Many people have asked when to remove the blue ribbons and replace blue bulbs. Our official mourning period for the Division ends March 10, 2018; however, it is our goal to live the ideals and values of Tony and Eric each and every day. We believe it is a personal decision when you feel it is the right time to change out light bulbs and remove the ribbons. With that said, we feel the support posters in area businesses serve to commemorate both Tony and Eric. If left on display, these serve as a fitting memorial for both of these dedicated officers.

If you would like to show your support for law enforcement, we would suggest that during police memorial week, May 11-16 each year, citizens and businesses post blue ribbons and blue bulbs in memory of all officers killed in the line of duty. To show support for firefighters, in the first week of October, red ribbons and bulbs could be displayed in memory of firefighters killed in the line of duty. Additionally, to support the military, green bulbs and ribbons could be displayed during Memorial Day weekend and Veterans Day.