Trooper Kenneth Velez, Ohio State Highway Patrol End of Watch: September 15, 2016
On September 15, 2016 Trooper Kenneth Velez was working traffic enforcement along interstate 90 near milepost 165 in Lakewood, Ohio. At 12:44 pm, Velez was standing on the berm of the highway outside of his patrol car when he was struck by a vehicle traveling at a very high rate of speed. He died soon afterward from the serious injuries sustained in the impact.
Trooper Velez was a devoted father of three children. An avid sports fan, “Kenny,” as he was called by the many friends who knew him, enjoyed volunteering to coach for both his sons’ baseball teams, and cheering for his daughter in her athletic endeavors. He was a huge fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, Cleveland Browns, CAVS and Indians; and was a member of Sacred Heart Chapel in Lorain, Ohio.
In May 1989, he began his career with the Ohio State Highway Patrol as a member of the 118th Academy Class, known as “Lean Mean 118.” He was the youngest member of the class, having just turned 21 that August and graduating in November. His first assignment was to the Canfield Post where he remained until 1992.
On Friday December 13, 1991, while conducting a traffic crash investigation and taking measurements on the highway, he was struck by a hit-skip driver. Upon returning to work his request to transfer closer to home was approved and he was assigned to the Elyria Post, where he spent the majority of his career. He also served in Warren, Cleveland and Seville; his last assignment being the Cleveland Metro Post.
During his career, Velez received numerous commendations and earned the Ohio State Highway Patrols Safe Driving and Physical Fitness awards.
Trooper Kenneth Velez is survived by his three children: Devin, Andria, and Christian; and parents Benjamin and Ana.