Westerville library closed Friday to honor fallen officers

Westerville Officer Anthony Morelli was a familiar face at the Westerville Public Library. (WSYX/WTTE)

WESTERVILLE, Ohio (WSYX/WTTE) -- Westerville Officer Anthony Morelli was a familiar face at the Westerville Public Library.

For the past 20 years, he served as a special duty officer at the South State Street branch said staff management.

They said the loss of Morelli and Officer Eric Joering, after being fatally shot in the line of duty last Saturday, has hit staff and patrons hard.

“It’s been very tough, very emotional," said library customer service manager Jennifer Thomas.

She said Morelli loved interacting with the community, and had a passion for reading. Thomas said Morelli would patrol the library one night a week to keep staff and visitors safe.

He also escorted people to their cars at closing time and helped secure the building. Last Thursday was the final night staff and patrons would see him alive.

On Monday, his loved ones returned the novel he’d checked out prior to his death.

“His family included a note with the book saying thank you for taking care of our father,” Thomas said.

Library management have set up a table on the lobby where people can write notes of support for the fallen officer’s families.

On Friday, spokespersons said the Westerville library will be closed in order for staff to attend the officers' funerals.

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