The Cleveland Police Museum is honored to tell the stories of our fallen officers on the anniversary of their End of Watch.
Louis Golonka joined the Cleveland Police Department on July 18, 1960, after serving four years in the US Navy. A devoted husband, Golonka called his wife every night when he was on duty. During the Hough riots of 1966, Officer Golonka barely missed getting hit by a flaming Molotov cocktail.
During the Glenville Shootout on July 23, 1968, black nationalists led by Fred (Ahmed) Evans ambushed police officers, killing three and wounding thirteen in a little over two hours.
Patrolmen Golonka responded to the broadcast of “policemen being shot at.” They were joined by other police officers and proceeded on foot. Police pursued snipers into an alley parallel to Lakeview and began exchanging gunfire. Going through a backyard, Patrolman Louis Golonka was shot in the chest and killed by several shotgun blasts. He was conveyed by car #417 to Forest City Hospital, where he was officially pronounced dead at 8:40 p.m.
Patrol Officer Louis Golonka was survived by his wife Janet and three children, Cynthia, 9; Louis, Jr., 6; and John, 3. Services were held at Our Lady of Peace Church and he was buried in Calvary Cemetery.