The Cleveland Police Foundation is honored to posthumously recognize Patrol Officer Raymond Francel as the January 2023 Police Officer of the Month.
Officer Raymond Francel has been named the Cleveland Police Foundation’s Police Officer of the Month for January/2023. It is our first time this honor is being awarded posthumously. Officer Francel was nominated by Fourth District Administrative Sergeant Ray O’ Connor, who was a good friend of his. The following is his testimonial to this outstanding officer:
“Officer Ray Francel was one of those people who if you were lucky enough to meet him, you never forgot him. Even if you only met him once, I bet you’d consider him a friend. Ray started his law enforcement career in 1993 as a member of the Cuyahoga Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department. From 1993 to 1996, Ray was regarded by his peers and coworkers as a smart, aggressive, and innovative officer who along with his partners racked up hundreds of felony drug arrests in just three short years.
“On April 8, 1996 Ray joined the ranks of the Cleveland Police Department. After attending the police academy ,Ray was assigned to the busy Fourth District. Ray went on to serve the citizens of Cleveland for over 27 years, most recently with the Airport Unit. There was something else about Ray that made him truly special; his heart was as big as any ten men put together. Over the almost 30 years I knew Ray I watched him open the door to his home to countless people. If you needed a place to live, be it for a month or for years, Ray would welcome you with open arms, and he would make you feel like part of the family. If you needed anything else big or small, Ray was always there.
“While attending Ray’s wake I spoke to many people. Some were fellow officers, some were civilian friends of Ray, and others were people who worked in different areas within the airport. The one thing that all these people had in common were their stories about how Ray had touched their lives. For some of them that meant a roof over their head and a place to call home. For others, like myself, that meant being treated to a meal. People like Ray are rare; his loss hurt many of us all the way to the core. I watched as one of the strongest men I know was reduced to tears while speaking at his wake. This is how deeply Ray was loved. We all miss you, my friend. May you rest in peace.”
It is because of his dedication and devotion to both his fellow man and his profession that the Cleveland Police Foundation is indeed honored to name Patrol Officer Raymond Francel our Police Officer of the Month for January 2023.
~ Bob Guttu, Cleveland Police Foundation
Nominated by Fourth District Administrative Sergeant Ray O’Connor
More about the Police Officer of the Month Program . . .