Columbus police officer remembered a year after murder

Dozens crowed into the break room of the second and eighteenth substation to honor fallen Columbus Police Officer Bryan Hurst. Hurst’s family stood, some of them holding one another and many in tears, near a large plaque displaying his photo.

Hurst’s commander Mary Mathias spoke during the dedication. Mathias called Hurst’s death a positive result, not only for the citizens he was serving the day he died but for society as a whole.

“Was Bryan’s death the result of bad timing? No. It was his choice to put himself in the right place at the right time. He knowingly put himself in harms way to protect others. He was a good cop. And it’s what we do,” Mathias said.

Choking back tears, one of Hurst’s close friends Officer Don Oliverio remembered him and one of their favorite pastimes.

“Some of the hardest times is like football games that’s why I’m wearing Bryan’s Steelers jersey today. We need the Steelers to win Sunday. Those are times that you have camaraderie with your friends. The Buckeye bowl game last Monday, those are the times that we definitely all would have been together and had a good time. As football games come along is the hardest times,” Oliverio said.

Hurst’s father, Ted Kaczorowski, said today’s plaque dedication is a big honor to Hurst and his family. Kaczorowski said he hopes the community will continue to remember the ultimate sacrifice Hurst made.

“It is the most incredibly touching sentiment the entire community could give us is by remembering Bryan in this manner. I mean this is the one thing that anyone who loses a loved one fears is that those around him might just kind of tend to forget and forgive what happened. I realize now that the entire community, particularly the police community, that that’s not going to happen,” Kaczorowski said.

Kaczorowski said Hurst, who served in the military, never dwelled on the dangers that come with being a police officer.

“He never, never once worried about the consequences realizing it could happen. He was very realistic about that. We as parents, of course, we’re selfish. We miss him,” Kaczorowski said.

The man accused of killing Hurst, Darrell Lawrence, is set to go on trial next month. Kaczorowski said the family plans to be a visible part of the trial. Kaczorowski said he wants to be sure his son’s side of the story is told.

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