In 1999, Sergeant Andy Ezzo founded the Greater Cleveland Police Scholarship Fund. Since then, the fund has provided thousands of dollars in scholarships to support the education of high school seniors in the Greater Cleveland area, as well as providing support to surviving families of slain officers!
Sergeant Ezzo explains the GCP Scholarship Fund: “I organized the Fund in 1999, the year after Detective Robert Clark was killed in the line of duty. The first year, we organized a softball tournament in memory of Robert Clark. Proceeds from the tournament allowed us to provide a $2,000 college scholarship to our first recipient. As the years moved on, we added the annual Police Memorial Motorcycle Rally and the annual “Salute to Our Heroes” benefit auction and dinner. Hosting these events with assistance from our wonderful sponsors has allowed us to provide over $250,000 in college scholarships to the children of police officers. In addition, over $68,000 has been provided to those police families who have given the ultimate sacrifice and lost a loved one in the line of duty.
“In 2002, the Akron Police Department constructed a memorial in front of their building which includes an eternal flame within the memorial. With a portion of the proceeds from the annual motorcycle rally, we have been able to provide an annual check of $2,500 to the Akron Police Memorial Society to keep the eternal flame lit.
“We have memorialized and provided funds to eight police families who have lost their loved ones in the line of duty. My purpose and my goal was to not only help the police families who have lost their loved ones and the police families having to send their children to college, but I always wanted to memorialize the fallen officers and never forget.
“Over the past 20 years, I am very proud to say I have accomplished the goals I have set and will always remember our fallen.”
It is because of the work done in our community and for our children that the Cleveland Police Foundation is proud to name Sergeant Andy Ezzo as its Police Officer of the Month for May 2019.
About the Police Officer of the Month Program
The Cleveland Police Foundation – in partnership with the Cleveland Division of Police, Cleveland Police Patrolmen’s Association, and the Fraternal Order of Police Cleveland Lodge 8 – is proud of the Police Officer of the Month program. The program’s purpose is to recognize members of the Cleveland Division of Police who not only perform their duties in an exemplary and extraordinary manner, but also excel in efforts that are consistent with a major tenet of the CPF’s mission to strengthen the bonds between citizens and police officers… building bridges, creating opportunities for dialogue, and forging positive relationships within the community.
Already aware that officers in the Cleveland Division of Police routinely go out of their way to help their fellow citizens, committee members are not surprised by the large number of candidates. With so many outstanding officers, selecting one recipient per month proved to be a somewhat daunting task.
When asked why bestow these awards, CPF Executive Director Charles W. Lane, Jr. states, “In today’s busy world, while some deeds may seem fairly insignificant, we hold out hope that such random acts of kindness may have a significant impact on a person’s life. Even if not, it’s nice to know that our police officers do for others what they would want someone else to do for a member of their family if the opportunity presented itself.”
Police officers across this great country perform similar deeds day-in and day-out, with little fanfare and really not seeking, nor even wanting recognition. We commend these officers for their compassion and personal commitment to making our city a better place to live.