Firefighter issued same badge number as father who died in line of duty
Justin Leon paid homage to his dad, Cleveland Police Department Officer Wayne Leon, who was shot and killed in 2000
By News Staff
CLEVELAND, Ohio — A new firefighter paid homage to his father, who died in the line of duty, by using his badge number.
FOX News reported Justin Leon recently took the oath of office after graduating from the Fire Training Academy Class.
Leon’s father, Cleveland Police Department Officer Wayne Leon, was shot and killed in 2000 when Leon was 5 years old.
"I don't remember a whole lot from my dad, I was 5 when he passed,” Leon told FOX8. “I've always been told that he was very generous and very helpful and he was always just wanting to do the right thing and that he was always the guy to call when someone needed help.”
Leon paid homage to his father 19 years later and was issued the same badge number he wore, 1338. His mother pinned the new badge in a tear-jerking ceremony, which was also attended by Lt. Mike Norman, who was a colleague of Leon’s father and was one of the first to respond when he was shot.
“To be 19 years later and to have his son come join us on the Cleveland Fire Department, his family being so dedicated to the citizens and visitors of Cleveland that they continued that service, I think it's really important, it says a lot about Justin and his family," Norman said.
Leon said he’s always wanted to follow in his father’s footsteps by becoming a first responder.
"I've always wanted to do something to help people and I've wanted to do something with safety forces," he said.
Leon said he understands the significance of wearing his father’s badge number.
"It's almost just like the legacy kind of lives on in a way,” he said.