Kane Policeman Steve Jerman killed 20 years ago

Photo submitted — Tuesday, Feb. 19 will mark the 20th anniversary of the shooting death of Kane Borough Police Officer Steve Jerman.
By: 
Ted Lutz
Staff Writer

It’s been nearly 20 years since Kane Police Officer Steve Jerman was shot and killed while making a routine traffic stop.
The 20th anniversary is Tuesday, Feb. 19 for the tragedy that shook this small community and continues to bring tears to the eyes of his family and friends.
Jerman was shot when he pulled over a vehicle in the early morning hours on Route 66 just south of the Kane borough line. 
The site, known as Southover Park, is the location of a memorial in honor of the fallen police officer.
“You never think something like this is going to happen in our small town,” retired Kane Police Chief “Yogi” Osmer said. “But it did.”
Osmer, a 38-year veteran of the Kane Police Department, served as police chief for nine years. 
As the chief in 1999, Osmer received that dreaded call that he never wanted to hear.
“I was told we had an officer down,” Osmer said.
Timothy James Williams of Coudersport, the driver of the vehicle, was convicted of the shooting death and is serving time in state prison. 
Williams, 19 years old in 1999, was wounded when Jerman returned fire before dying at the scene. 
Jerman’s wife Marsha and their daughter Mary Dinger and son Don still live in Kane.
It’s ironic that Jerman was killed by a young man because he was like a second father and friend to many children and young adults in Kane.
For years, Jerman served as the amicable volunteer instructor for the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program in Kane schools.
The police officer preferred to work the overnight shift so he could spend hours in the daytime with DARE and other youth-related activities such as Boy Scouts. His son qualified as an Eagle Scout, the highest rank in scouting.
Jerman was known as a great cook who volunteered to prepared food for many events such as the policeman’s memorial program and activities with the Federal of Police. 
When the portable replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall came to Kane, Jerman took vacation time so he could stay in a motor home and provide the mandated 24-hour security at the site. 
Because of Jerman’s popularity with the youth of Kane, the snack bar at the Kane Area Community Center is called “Steve’s Place.”
Flanked by flags, the Steve Jerman Memorial stands like a sentry in Southover Park as a stark reminder of the tragic event that took place two decades ago.
“I think about Steve all the time,” Osmer said. “And every time I pass his memorial, I shed a tear.”

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