ASHLAND -- A street dedication ceremony Friday honored a well-known and beloved Ashland police officer.
The driveway leading to the Ashland City Justice Center was named "Alting Avenue" for Lt. Garry Lee Alting, a 25-year veteran officer with the Ashland Police Division (APD) who died earlier this year.
Alting passed away suddenly June 30 during a medical procedure at OhioHealth Mansfield Hospital. Friday, Dec. 11 marked what would have been his 48th birthday.
"Shortly after he passed, some of the officers were talking about a way to recognize Garry and everything that he meant to not only us, but our citizens, too," said Police Chief David Marcelli. "We thought it was an appropriate way to honor Garry and everything he meant to us."
The drive leading to the Justice Center was previously unnamed.
The street sign was unveiled Friday morning during an outdoor ceremony. Chief Marcelli anticipated a small group, but dozens attended. The group socially distanced themselves in order to watch the event in-person.
"Everyone seemed to love him, and he loved them, too. He truly did," Marcelli said. "The hours he put in, the sense of dedication to service that he had. He didn't do what he did for money; he didn't do what he did for accolades; he did what he did because that's what he wanted to do to support the community."
He highlighted Alting's ability to find good in everything.
"Twenty five years of seeing some of the worst society has to offer, and he was just as ideologically a rookie as the day he walked in the building. He could find the good in every situation, every person. That's just who he was," Marcelli said.
Ashland Mayor Matt Miller read a proclamation highlighting Alting's contributions to the community. He mentioned Alting's easy-going mannerisms, professionalism and attention to detail.
"The city of Ashland wishes to recognize those individuals who have a heart for our community, men and women are willing to invest their lives and personal resources in building our future, making our city a stronger, more vibrant and more prosperous place to live," Miller said.
"It is the desire of this city to honor Garry Alting and ensure that his memory lives on at the Ashland City Police Department and Justice Center for generations to come. Ashland is a better place because Gatry Alting chose to live and work in this city."
As the ceremony ended, a bald eagle flew overhead.
"It was absolutely amazing. There's a lot of them around Pleasant Hill and Charles Mill, but I've never seen one over the city," Marcelli said.
Alting was born in 1972 in Shelby, Ohio. He graduated from Loudonville High School in 1991. He then joined the Police Academy, earning an associate’s degree in 1994.