The Greater Cincinnati Police Museum
“Preserving the History of Law Enforcement in the Greater Cincinnati Area”
Police Officer Joseph Leo Grieco P-130 (1954-2018)
Joe was born May 18, 1954 in Cincinnati to Joseph Robert “Joe” and Irene R. (Buchanan) Grieco of Westwood. He attended St. Catharine Grade School and La Salle High School, graduating in 1972, and participated in football, baseball, karate, and swimming. He also attended the University of Cincinnati and in 1975 earned an Associate Degree in Law Enforcement Technology. Later, he earned a bachelor’s degree in History.
Joe grew up on Shaffer Avenue where, at times, Patrolmen Raymond Ballard and Robert Kramer lived across the street, Detective Marvin Friedman two doors up, Patrolman Lawrence Whalen five doors up, and Detective Bernie Kersker further up the street. Patrolman Kramer (also his 2nd Cousin) was his Webelo den leader and Boy Scout leader. Another 2nd cousin whom he saw fairly often was Motorcycle Patrolman Charles Black. Across from Detective Kersker was Charlie Beaver, his Webelo Den Boy Scout Adviser, who became a Police Cadet in 1971. Joe, Mike Bolte, and Steve Kramer, all living in that half-mile stretch, joined the Cincinnati Police Division as Cadets on July 23, 1972. Fellow St. Catharine classmates David Wuest and Edward Burk would later join law enforcement.
Joe was assigned to Detection Section (city jail in the basement of City Hall) and, on September 29, 1974, to the Training Section (Cincinnati State College). On August 24, 1975, he was promoted to Police Recruit, and on September 28, 1975 to Police Officer, issued Badge 130, and assigned to District 7 (813 Beecher Street). After 4½ years of service, on December 5, 1976, Officer Grieco was laid off with about 150 other officers. Sixteen months later, he was recalled to work as an Operator Dispatcher at Police Communications Section. On April 1, 1979, after the murders of Officers Seiffert and Bennington, the City recalled all its remaining laid off officers and Joe was reissued Badge 130 and assigned to District 4 (4150 Reading Road). A year later he was rotated to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue). On February 19, 1980, he transferred to Central Vice Control Section (222 E. Central Parkway). Within 9 months, he transferred to the District 5 Mini Tactical Unit. A year later, Officer Grieco transferred to the Reginal Enforcement of Narcotics Unit (RENU) where he excelled. Officer Grieco was voluntarily assigned to the Police Academy as an instructor in defensive tactics for several police recruit classes.
Along the way, like others, Officer Grieco suffered through an unprecedented spate of Cincinnati officers being murdered. Five were buried in his first 4½ years. Another four were murdered in his first two years back with the Division. Then, when his good friend and fellow RENU Agent, Police Officer Clifford George, was shot and killed on April 16, 1987, he decided while standing in line at the visitation, that he had experienced too many deaths. He resigned a week later, April 25, 1987, with almost 15 years of service to his community and seven letters of appreciation and/or commendation.
Officer Grieco moved to Florida and over several years worked for the United States Drug Enforcement Agency and as a sales representative for a few law enforcement equipment manufacturers. During 2006, he began selling and managing accounts for a manufacturer of GPS units in bank teller money packs, pharmaceutical shipping containers, etc. He retired in May 2018.
A mild stroke began a long cascade of issues eventually resulting in his death in Milford on December 30, 2018 at the age of 64.
He was predeceased by his mother (2002), father (2017), and sister, Geri Wallach (2017). Officer Grieco is survived by his sisters, Toni and Pam Grieco; brother-in-law, Steven Wallach; and their families.
A Celebration of Life was be held on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at The Farm at 239 Anderson Ferry Road. Memorials may be directed to Hamilton County Park District, 10245 Winton Road, 45231
A Celebration of Life will be held 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, January 5, 2019 at The Farm at 239 Anderson Ferry Road.
Memorials may be directed to Hamilton County Park District, 10245 Winton Road, 45231
© 2018 – All rights reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum