Fallen Nashville officer’s former sergeant: ‘Law enforcement was in his heart’

Joe Morbitzer (Photo: WKRN)

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COLUMBUS, Ohio (WRKN) – Metro-Nashville law enforcement are in Ohio where they’ve been helping plan a funeral for their fellow officer Eric Mumaw.

Mumaw was from Columbus and that’s where a small service will be held Friday morning.

News 2’s Jessica Jaglois has been speaking to people who knew him. They all say he was an excellent officer, beloved friend, and all-around great guy.

We also spoke to the chief of the Westerville Police Department, which is where Officer Mumaw started his law enforcement career.

Westerville Police Department in Ohio (Photo: WKRN)
Westerville Police Department in Ohio (Photo: WKRN)

Chief Joe Morbitzer recalled how Mumaw began. He was working as a sergeant at the time.

“He was one of those guys who would come in and work when no one else would,” the chief told News 2.

“He also worked in our communications department as a tech; he just could not get enough of it. It was in his fabric.”

Mumaw was a man in his 20s who worked as both a dispatcher and reserve officer, an unpaid position where he volunteered his time.

RELATED: Officers from Ohio police department drive in for Mumaw’s memorial

Eric Mumaw (Photo: Submitted)
Eric Mumaw (Photo: Submitted)

“Down in the role call room, folks who were here when Eric was here, about some of the practical jokes he played. He was a jokester. But man, law enforcement was in his heart and soul,” Morbitzer said.

The chief says his department has a problem, though. People don’t leave.

It’s a good problem to have, but it meant Officer Mumaw had to apply elsewhere to become a police office.

“When we get reserve officers that are like Eric, that are diamonds, other departments hire them at the drop of a hat. Nashville was extremely, extremely lucky to get him as a police officer,” Chief Morbitzer explained.

Mumaw worked for the Metro Nashville Police Department for 18 years until one week ago when he died trying to save the life of another.

Eric Mumaw (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)
Eric Mumaw (Courtesy: Metro Nashville Police Department)

“They knew they had a good quality police officer because it was in his heart to do the right thing,” Morbitzer said. “And that’s what he was doing the night he passed away; he was trying to do the right thing by trying to save a life.”

The woman who Officer Mumaw was trying to save has been charged in his death. News 2 asked the chief if he resents her.

He said, “I’m sure she regrets everything that happened. I’m sure she does; she’s a human being. The point is Eric was doing what he was there to do and that was try to save a life. Unfortunately, that cost his own.”

“There needs to be responsibility, but we don’t know the backstories to people either,” the chief also stated. “We are all one blink away from crisis in our life. We can say we’re not but we’re all one blink away from some type of crisis in our own personal life.”

Click here for additional coverage of Officer Mumaw’s death.