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Hero Down: Cleveland Police Officer Erwin Eberhardt Dies After Heart Attack

Cleveland, OH – Cleveland Police Department (CPD) Officer Erwin Eberhardt died on Feb. 18 after suffering a heart attack while off duty.

Cleveland Mayor Frank Jackson, Director of Public Safety Karrie Howard, and CPD Chief Calvin Williams released a joint statement confirming the 53-year-old officer’s death the following day.

“We are profoundly sad to announce the passing of one of our Police Officers,” the statement read. “[Officer Eberhardt] served the Division of Police proudly and honorably for over 30 years.”

He began his CPD career in 1990, and was assigned to the Second District for many years after he graduated from the police academy.

“Throughout his career he served in many assignments including the First District, Fourth District, the Airport Unit and the Police Academy,” the joint statement read. “During Erwin’s tenure in the Police Academy he trained hundreds of Cleveland Police recruits to become Cleveland Police Officers.”

Officer Eberhardt was also an instructor for the Cuyahoga Community College Police Academy.

“He was well known and beloved by the trainees as someone who always provided support and humor as he was always there to lighten the load of law enforcement training,” the statement read.

Officer Eberhardt, a U.S. Army veteran, served multiple overseas deployments, to include Operation Enduring Freedom.

“His military training primed him to become one of the longest serving members of the Cleveland Division of Police Honor Guard,” according to the joint statement. “During his service within the Honor Guard, he participated in countless parades and events, including services for fallen officers.”

Officer Eberhardt was chosen as Police Officer of the Month in June of 2017, and was also the recipient of the Edward P. Kovacic Memorial Police Officer of the Year Award, Cleveland Police Foundation Community Outreach Director Bob Guttu said in a news release on the organization’s website.

“Officer Eberhardt was respected by all who knew him,” Guttu wrote. “RIP my friend.”

Officer Eberhardt leaves behind his four children, Ian, Tony, Brandi, and Heather, as well as his grandchildren, Ariyah, Laython, and Kiah.

“His children and grandchildren were the light of his life,” the statement read. “They will miss him dearly.”

He is also survived by his father, grandmother, extended family members, numerous friends, and his brothers and sisters in blue.

Officer Eberhardt will be laid to rest on Thursday, according to his obituary.

Jackson authorized all CPD stations in the city to lower their U.S. flags to half-staff in honor of the veteran officer.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of Cleveland Police Department Officer Erwin Eberhardt, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

View all articles
Written by Holly Matkin


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