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County Council honors Copley officer, youth as heroes

4/18/2013 - West Side Leader
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By Kathleen Folkerth

Summit County Council honored Copley police officer Ben Campbell April 15 for his actions in stopping the Aug. 7, 2011, mass shooting in Copley. Shown above with Campbell are Council members Tamela Lee (D-District 5) and John Schmidt (D-District 2).
Photo: Kathleen Folkerth
DOWNTOWN AKRON — Copley police officer Ben Campbell and youth Dae’Shawn Bagley were called heroes for their actions 18 months ago.

Moments after keeping the city of Boston in mind with a moment of silence for the explosions that rocked the Boston Marathon that day, Summit County Council members and the audience at the April 15 meeting gave Campbell a standing ovation after he accepted a commendation from Council members Tamela Lee (D-District 5) and John Schmidt (D-District 2).

Campbell was the responding officer who was able to stop a shooting rampage in the Goodenough Avenue/Schocalog Road area Aug. 7, 2011. He has been honored nationally and locally for his actions that day.

Lee said before reading Campbell’s commendation that she wanted to remember “the bravery and acts of heroism on that tragic day that none of us will ever forget.”

Campbell is credited with stopping Michael Hance in the shooting spree that left Russell Johnson, Gudrun Johnson, Bryan Johnson, Autumn Johnson, Amelia Shambaugh, Craig Dieter and Scott Dieter dead and Rebecca Dieter seriously wounded. Hance was killed after being shot by Campbell.

Also honored was Dae’Shawn, who was 9 at the time of the incident. He stayed with shooting victim Scott Dieter to provide comfort.

Dae’Shawn and his family were expected to attend the ceremony, but they were not present to receive the commendation. Copley Township Trustees Helen Humphrys and Dale Panovich accepted it on Dae’Shawn’s behalf.

They also thanked Council and specifically Lee and Sandra Kurt (D-at large) for their assistance the day of the shooting and beyond.

Council and the audience also gave a standing ovation for Dae’Shawn.

In other business, Council voted along political party lines on a resolution expressing opposition to a proposed state amendment that would make Ohio a “right to work” state.

Councilwoman Paula Prentice (D-District 8) introduced the resolution.

“I think it’s the right thing to do at this time,” she said. “If it hadn’t been for the union[s], there are a lot of people in this county and state that wouldn’t have a 40-hour work week, hospitalization and benefits.”

Prentice added that efforts are being made in Southern Ohio to put the Workplace Freedom constitutional amendment on the ballot. An organization called Ohioans for Workplace Freedom is currently promoting the proposed amendment, which according to its website would allow Ohioans to have a choice as to whether to join a union.

Council members Bill Roemer (R-at large) and Gloria Rodgers (R-District 3) voted against the resolution.

Council also adopted a resolution to allow a renewal of a lease with Bath Township for county use of a salt storage facility at a cost of $7,200 for the year. Heidi Swindell, of the Engineer’s Office, said the bill was sent by Bath but never received by the county, so first reading passage was requested.

Among the new legislation introduced was:

  • a resolution declaring the necessity of a renewal levy for the Akron Zoo. The 0.8-mill levy is for capital and operating expenses and will likely be before voters in November; and
  • a resolution confirming an award with Perrin Asphalt for the Ghent Road/Cleveland-Massillon Road resurfacing project in an amount not to exceed $873,000, and appropriating $699,000 from the Ohio Department of Transportation  and $175,000 from the Ohio Public Works Commission for the project.
    Council also adopted legislation including a substitute resolution denying the request of Boston Township to vacate a portion of Oak Hill Road. The road will remain closed, however, due to structural problems.
    In addition, Council adopted an amended ordinance regarding the county’s Office of Consumer Affairs to allow the office to be part of the Executive’s department of Law, Insurance and Risk Management.

Summit County Council will meet April 22 at 4:30 p.m. for committee meetings in Council Chambers on the seventh floor of the Ohio Building, 175 S. Main St.

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