GIRARD, Ohio (WKBN) – The Girard community is celebrating Officer Justin Leo’s life with a ceremony at the high school football game Friday night. But another group will also be hitting the turf in two weeks to raise money for the slain officer’s family.
It’s been a long week for members of law enforcement after one of their own was killed in the line of duty.
“Even though I didn’t know Officer Leo, you feel like because it’s so close, you had that bond, you had that friendship, you had that relationship where if I saw him or he saw me, we would help each other,” said Rory Timlin, with the YSU Police Department.
Officer Timlin said Leo’s death has shown him how strong the police community is in the Valley. That’s why he’s rallying officers together for a flag football tournament.
“It started out as something just in Leo’s memory and it kind of snowballed into what it is now. I had no idea it would get the response that it did,” Timlin said.
With a strong response from not only law enforcement members but firefighters and other first responders, Timlin decided to have players buy into the tournament — with all of the money going to Leo’s family.
“We just wanted them to know that we’re behind them 100 percent. Anything they need, they don’t even have to ask. I don’t want them to have to think about anything, I just want it to happen,” Timlin said.
The tournament will be on November 11 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Watts Center at YSU. It’s open to anyone who wants to get a team together.
“It’s really heartwarming and really reassuring to know that there’s still really good people out there,” Timlin said. “The police are a family and we take care of each other.”
Teams will consist of eight people. There will be a $150 entrance fee per team or a $15 fee at the door for a single person looking to join a team that needs someone.
The official sign-up date is November 2.
To participate, email your team name, roster, and jersey/shirt color to firstname.lastname@example.org.