Copley, Akron officers biking 250 miles to recognize reserve officer Harold Wintrow, shot in 1965

AKRON, Ohio - In 1965, Linda Keller was just 14-years-old when her father, Akron Reserve Officer Harold Wintrow, was shot and left paralyzed below his waist.

"Even though it has been that many years, 1965, every time there's a story or anything happens, it brings it all back," Keller said.

Wintrow and two sworn police officers were shot by Charles Jennings after the lawmen stopped a car that matched the description of one involved in an armed robbery.

Officer Frank Mancini was also paralyzed and died in 2012. Officer Eugene Hooper was killed in the shooting. Wintrow passed away in 1993.

"When he (Jennings) realized my father wasn't dead, he held the gun to his head and fired. The gun did not go off. It was just vicious," Keller explained.

This May, Copley Police Chief Mike Mier will ride his bicycle 250 miles from Reading, Pennsylvania to Washington to D.C. to raise money for Law Enforcement United Road to Hope Ride, which benefits the families of slain officers.

Copley Sergeant Jack Simone will also ride his bicycle, while Officer Jeff Newman will lead a motorcycle escort. Akron police chaplain Bob Denton will drive a trailer which will bear the names of all officers killed in Summit County.

Mier will also be riding in memory of Wintrow. Like many local officers, Mier was bothered that Wintrow's name initially was not allowed to be engraved on the National Police Memorial.

"He was doing the same job as a regular police officer and should be recognized for that," Mier said.

Even though Wintrow's name already appears on city and state memorials, Keller said the National Police Memorial refused to add it because Wintrow was a reserve officer, not a sworn one.

"It is a little bit hurtful. He gave so much to the police department," she said.

However, an aggressive petition spearheaded by Akron city workers and officers eventually convinced the national organization to include Wintrow's name. It will be engraved and likely on display for a candlelight vigil on May 13.

Keller said her father would be ecstatic by the honor and the bike ride.

"I think it only shows they're all brothers and how important it is to honor someone who has fallen in the line of duty," she said.

Chief Mier said the department is accepting donations on behalf of Law Enforcement United.

Those interested in helping out should contact the Copley Police Department at 330-666-4218.

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