Jeffrey Manning Phegley



  • Morrow Police Officer
  • Charities and Political Volunteer
  • Rising star, ambushed, and killed


Jeff was born March 19, 1964 in Belleville, Illinois. His family moved from East St. Louis during 1970 to Colerain Township.

While attending Colerain High School in 1983, he was active in the American Red Cross, a volunteer at Providence Hospital, and a singer in the Southern Gateway Chorus. He was also active in the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office Police Cadet Program and Explorer Post 660.

After graduation, Jeff worked for the Cincinnati Reds organization and volunteered for the Republican Party. He attended the 1980 Reagan Bush Inaugural Ball, worked as an intern for Congressman Michael Oxley, and was active in the Republican Party until his death.

After graduating from the Norwood Police Academy in 1986, he joined the Village of Addyston Police Department. He then joined the 3-man Morrow Police Department as a part time officer during January 1986 and hired full time about July 1986. In Morrow, he was so well liked, that Mayor Forrest Erwin invited him to Christmas Dinner at his home in 1986. Jeff had also come to love the village and was considering purchasing a home there.

On January 21, 1987, Police Officer Phegley traded shifts to work for Police Chief Dick Kilburn who had to travel to Columbus for a police conference. This also afforded him an opportunity to visit his 89-year-old grandmother who had been in the hospital with a recent heart attack.

He was patrolling the village about 2 p.m. when he noticed a 1977 Monte Carlo traveling 48 miles per hour in a 25-miles-per-hour zone. The driver had every intention of drawing attention by speeding through the village. He told his friends, after purchasing and modifying a shotgun, “the next time a cop stops me, I’m going to make it worth his while.” When Officer Phegley stopped him, he sucker-punched Officer Phegley in the jaw, knocking him to the ground, retrieved the shotgun from underneath his front seat, and shot and killed him.

If you would like to read more of Officer Phegley’s life, death, and aftermath, see his Line of Duty Death page.


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