Ohio woman discovers NYPD medal, plans to return it

An Ohio woman stumbled upon an unusual treasure during one of her bargain hunts: a 74-year-old New York Police Department Medal for Valor that she plans to return to the NYPD.

Lori Kline, 47, discovered the medal in a bag of jewelry she bought at a thrift store near her home. The medal has the inscription “for valor” with an officer’s name and the year 1934 on one side, and Police Department — City of New York on the other side, Kline wrote in a Facebook post in February.

Kline hoped to find a way to return the medal to its owner, and started by posting on Craigslist and other websites about her chance discovery.

Kline did not immediately respond to CNN’s request for comment, but posted on Facebook that two NYPD lieutenants responded to one of her posts.

“They are coming in uniform to Ohio to meet me to get the medal,” Kline wrote on Facebook.

NYPD officers Lt. Steven Jerome and Lt. Robert Lee will travel to Barberton next Friday to retrieve the medal in a small ceremony, NYPD Lt. John Grimpel confirmed to CNN on Friday.

Killed in the line of duty

The medal for valor was bestowed upon Patrolman John J. Morrissey in 1934 after he was killed in the line of duty, Grimpel said.

An NYPD memorial website states that Morrissey was attempting to subdue a fellow patrolman who was fleeing hospital attendants, when he sustained injuries that ultimately led to his death. He had been with the NYPD for nine years and was a WWI veteran.

After Morrissey’s death, the chaplains unit of the NYPD helped look after his only child, a 6-year-old boy. When Morrissey’s son died recently, he left a portion of his estate to the chaplains unit, Grimpel said.

Lt. Jerome, who is commanding officer of the chaplains unit, decided to look into Morrissey’s background upon receiving the son’s donation. Grimpel told CNN that Jerome happened upon a message posted by Kline on the NYPD Angels website, a site dedicated to fallen officers.

If no remaining relatives of Morrissey come forward and claim the medal, the NYPD intends to keep the medal in Morrissey’s honor at the police headquarters in Manhattan, Grimpel said.

For Kline, the excitement of returning a medal for valor back to New York City was enough to invite members of her community for the ceremony.

“I want him to get the recognition I don’t think he got back then,” Kline wrote.