Police Specialist James Joseph Cronin PS-19 (1941-2023)


Jim was born October 31, 1941 in Cincinnati, the first of six born to Willard James and Helen Sophie (Ruoff) Cronin Camp Washington. He graduated from Roger Bacon High School and Union Institute and University.

Jim joined the United States Marine Corps on June 23, 1959 and was assigned to Artillery Aviation in the M Battery, 4th Battalion, 11th Marines at Camp Pendleton. By November 1959, he was promoted to Private First Class. In 1960, Private Cronin attended the Radio Operator and Supervisors Course at Camp Pendleton. During 1961 he completed three advanced avionics courses in Memphis, Tennessee. He was then assigned to Cherry Point, North Carolina for 2½ years as a technician and instructor on various electronic simulated aircraft. He was promoted to Sergeant in February 1964 at the Headquarters Squadron at the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, North Carolina. In June 1963, he was assigned barracks sergeant and head of the Audio/Visual Section. Sergeant  Cronin was honorably discharged on December 8, 1963.

Upon returning home, he drove a truck for the Continental Baking Company and then the Coors Brothers Dairy.

 Jim joined the Cincinnati Police Division on March 22, 1965 as a Recruit and was the top marksman in the class. He was promoted to Patrolman on June 28, 1965, issued Badge 322, and assigned to District 5 (1012 Ludlow Avenue). Patrolman Cronin was rotated to District 2 (314 Broadway) on December 19, 1965. Over the next five years, his name appeared in newspaper stories a dozen times, including: On July 7, 1966, he and Patrolman Clarence Caesar recognized a man at the Greyhound Bus Station, from a witness’s description of a man, wanted in a few armed robberies. The robber was leaving town and found to be an escapee from Lima State Hospital for the Criminally Insane. During a chase begun by Patrolman Charles Greenert of an armed robber on July 28, 1966 and the subsequent shootout, Patrolman Cronin was shot in the leg. On April 15, 1967, he took a gun away from a racist threatening gypsies. On September 19, 1967, he and Patrolman Voherr caught three burglars of a service station on Second Street. They shot two as they fled, and the third terminated the pursuit by throwing himself to the ground. On July 15, 1970, based on descriptions given in several armed robberies, Patrolman Cronin spotted a suspect walking downtown, and arrested, interrogated, and charged him. On October 30, 1970, Patrolmen Cronin and Don Ruberg ended another chase of a felon with warning shots. After only five years as a patrolman, Patrolman Cronin was assigned to the prestigious Intelligence Section on February 7, 1971. On January 25, 1976, he was promoted to Police Specialist and issued Badge PS-19. Specialist Cronin resigned on December 23, 1978, with 17½ years of service to his country and community and 16 letters of appreciation and/or commendation, to take a position at General Electric, from which he retired.

Specialist Cronin died April 14, 2023 at the age of 81.

He was predeceased by a wife, Cincinnati Policewoman Marna (Kauffman) Cronin, and stepsons, Jason and Andy. He is survived by a wife, Donna (Kesterman) Cronin; children, Kelly Barnet, James (Robin) Cronin, Colleen Heyl, John (Tracie) Cronin; siblings, Joseph Cronin, Jayne (JB) Cronin, Gayle Cronin, Jan (Terry) Bayes, and Carol (Bill) McCauley; stepchildren, Amy (John) Maples, Lisa (Patrick) MacIntosh, Christina (Donald) Jackson, Matt (Rachel) Cox, and Shelly Thornburg; 26 grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren. 

A celebration of life will be held 1 to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 22, 2023 at Don Bigote’s at 100 Front Street in Morrow.

Memorials may be made to Caretenders Hospice.


© 2023 – All rights are reserved to LT Stephen R. Kramer RET and the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum



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