The Cleveland Police Museum was honored to receive Cruiser #1103 from the Cleveland Heights Police Department as an addition to our Vintage Fleet. Cruiser #1103 was driven by Investigator Jason West, who died in the line of duty on May 26, 2007. The CHPD donated the car in memory of Investigator West as well as in memory of CHPD Police Officer Thomas F. Patton II (EOW 3/13/2010). The cruiser was restored with the support of LJI Collision Center, Washington & Lee Service Center, and FOP Lodge #14.
Born and raised in Avon, Ohio, Jason West attended Avon High School, where he played football and baseball. Upon graduation in 1994, he attended Tiffin University, where he played baseball and majored in Criminal Justice. On May 22, 2000, he was appointed as a Basic Patrol Officer in the City of Cleveland Heights. Two years later, the force promoted him to investigator. Jason served in three units – Basic Patrol, Traffic and Motorcycle. His fellow officers remember Jason as a man of honor, virtue and courage. He believed that police officers should be positive role models and his exemplary performance set the best example possible for his peers.
On Friday, May 25, 2007, Investigator Jason D. West responded to a fight in progress on Altamont Avenue in Cleveland Heights, along with two other cruisers. All officers observed a vehicle quickly backing into a nearby driveway. Investigator West pulled his cruiser in front of the driveway, blocking the suspect’s vehicle. As West exited his cruiser, the suspect fired from inside his vehicle, then proceeded to exit his vehicle and fire additional rounds into Investigator West’s body. Investigator West was rushed to Huron Road Hospital, where he died in the early hours of May 26, 2007. Jason D. West is survived by his mother, Georgine, his father, Thomas, and his sister, Ann.
Thomas Patton attended Holy Name High School, where he ran track. He joined the Cleveland Heights Police Department in 2000. On March 13, 2010, Officer Thomas Patton responded to a request for assistance from a fellow officer, who was in foot pursuit of a suspect who had been harassing two women inside a convenience store. When that officer tried to make an arrest, the suspect spit in his face and fled on foot. The officer pursued and called for assistance. Officer Patton responded and joined in the pursuit, which went through the woods and several backyards. At Glenmont and Mayfield Roads, Officer Patton bent over, rested his hands on his knees for a moment, and then continued running. He collapsed from a fatal heart attack shortly after. He was transported to Huron Hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later. He had no prior incidences of heart trouble.
Officer Patton had served with the Cleveland Heights Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his daughter, fiancée, five sisters, and his father, Ohio State Senator (currently Ohio State Representative) Thomas F. Patton. He is remembered as a dependable, family-oriented young man with a wonderful sense of humor.