CINCINNATI (WKRC) - Officer Dale Woods was a cop's cop. That sentiment was expressed more than once at his public memorial service at Xavier University's Cintas Center on Jan. 14.
The veteran Colerain Township officer and former firefighter was hit by a pickup truck as he worked to clear the scene of a car accident on Colerain Avenue on Jan. 4. He passed away three days later.
Woods was 46 years old. He worked 15 years each for Colerain Township's police and fire departments. He also worked as an officer in North College Hill for six years.
Law enforcement officers from all over the Tri-State attended the service Monday.
A long list of commendations and honors bestowed on Woods was read during the service., and colleagues took turns honoring Woods, talking about how he was born into a life of serving others and encouraging his three children to remember him proudly.
"Your dad's a hero. Being a hero doesn't require that you die in a fiery explosion or that you have some innate skill for carrying a football or a tune, but it does require you be willing to give everything, including your life, for a purpose greater than yourself, and if that doesn't describe your dad, I don't know what does," said Colerain Township Police Chief Mark Denney.
"Your daddy's a hero, and our hero and our country's hero," said former deputy and current Colerain Township trustee, Raj Rajagopal.
"We need to make a promise to Dale Woods, especially those who worked with him, the guys on the floor that know him well, that we will tell the story of Dale and his story will continue on, even though he's not here," said Chaplain James Love. "I say this and I mean this will all my heart. When something comes up, say it out loud, 'You know what would Dale say; you know what would Dale do,' and it is my hope that the memory of Dale will eventually bring a smile to your face more than a tear to your eye."
"I believe in the altruism of public service, but this is not fair and this hurts and these last days have been difficult ones," said Colerain Township administrator Geoff Milz. "You shouldn't die for doing your job, even if your job is to be a hero."
After the public service, a long line of police vehicles escorted Woods' body to his final resting place at Spring Grove Cemetery.