Family Of Slain Elyria Police Officer Donates $25K To Canine Program

Kristeen Sawyers presents Sheriff Stammitti with a $25,000 check.Photo: Photo courtesy of the Lorain County Sheriff's Office

ELYRIA, OH - The family of Sgt. James Kerstetter of the Elyria Police Department who was tragically killed in the line of duty on March 15, 2010 donated $25,000 to the canine program operated at the Lorain County Sheriff's Office. Lorain County Sheriff Phil Stammitti was presented the check by Kristeen Sawyers on Tuesday. Mrs. Sawyers stated that they wanted to make the donation specifically to the canine program in hopes that it will fund the purchase of a new dog and other necessary equipment for the program. Sheriff Stammitti stated “This is truly a blessing for our K-9 program from the family of Sgt. James Kerstetter, which will help support our six (6) K-9’s.”

The Lorain County Sheriff’s canine program consists of three canines assigned to deputies in law enforcement division and three canines assigned to correctional officers in the jail division. Recently one of the canines had to unexpectedly retire due to a medical issue so this donation will greatly help in replacing their canine and keeping the program running strong. Sheriff Stammitti and the members of the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office thank Kristeen Sawyers and the other members of the family of Sgt. James Kerstetter for such a generous donation. Stammitti said, "Their act of kindness to support this program will be felt by many and is very much appreciated."

Kerstetter was shot and killed in 2010 after responding to a call on East 18th Street. A mother called 911 to report that a neighbor had exposed himself to her child and kicked in a window in her home. The suspect opened fired on officers after they located him at his residence.

Prior to serving the citizens of Elyria, Sgt. Kerstetter served as a Corrections Officer and Deputy Sheriff at the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office.

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