Family, friends and dozens of local law enforcement gathered Monday to remember the life of Louis Sharp, a huge part of Ohio’s history as the state’s first African-American state trooper.
According to WCMH, Sharp died last week at the age of 85.
Sharp’s grandson, Justin Sharp, remembered his grandfather as a “strong” person.
“I don’t know too many people stronger than he was,” he said. “Somebody willing to help others. He was loving and wanted everybody to succeed.”
And he was a trailblazer and a role model for many, including Staff Lt. Chuck Jones, the station notes.
“Being the first African-American trooper commissioned to the Highway Patrol has a special meaning for all of us,” Jones said, adding that Sharp paved the way for others in law enforcement. “A mentor to many of the African-American troopers on the Highway Patrol, it was truly a blessing to be in his presence.”
The Ohio State Highway Patrol honored his legacy, leading a funeral procession from Christ the King Catholic Church to Forest Lawn Memorial Cemetery after the service.
The Highway Patrol was not Sharp’s only stomping ground. In 1980 he was elected mayor of the village of Urbancrest, Ohio. Recently, according to WCMH, he was inducted into the Ohio Civil Rights Hall of Fame.
“It made me proud of being who I am, carrying his last name and being able to give that to my children,” Justin Sharp said.
Read more at WKBN.