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Listed are Members of the Milwaukee Police Department who have made the supreme sacrifice for the Citizens and the City of Milwaukee to whom they so faithfully served.

Wendolyn Tanner

Appointed: November 9, 1992      Deceased: September 7, 1996

On Saturday, September 7, 1996, at approximately 8:25PM, Officer Wendolyn Tanner died from a gunshot wound. Officer Tanner and his partner observed a suspect wanted on a warrant in the area of North 20th Street and West Hampton Avenue. As they approached the suspect, the suspect fled on foot. Officer Tanner gave chase on foot and his partner gave chase in their squad car. While Officer Tanner was chasing the suspect on foot the suspect fired numerous shots. Officer Tanner was fatally wounded from one of those shots. Responding officers arrested the suspect later.


 

Michael A. Niehoff

Appointed: October 28, 1991      Deceased: November 30, 1994

On November 30, 1994, Officer Michael Niehoff died while responding to assist a fellow officer. Officer Niehoff and his partner heard the call come over the radio, "Officer Assist" in the 3300 block of North 38th Street. Officer Niehoff and his partner responded and when going through the intersection at North Sherman and West Burleigh Avenue, they collided with another squad that also was responding to assist their fellow officer. Officer Neihoff died from massive internal injuries.


 

William A. Robertson

Appointed: September 27, 1993      Deceased: September 7, 1994 

On September 7, 1994, in the early morning hours, Officer William Robertson was fatally wounded by a sniper's bullet. Officer Robertson and his partner were patrolling in the area of North 24th Street and W. Brown Street. As they turned a corner, unbeknownst to them, a suspect was hiding behind some bushes with a rifle just waiting to shoot at any Milwaukee Police Officer that appeared in a squad car. Officer Robertson was shot once in the back from the suspect's rifle while he was riding in the passenger's seat of the patrol wagon.


 

Michael R. Tourmo

Appointed: April 20, 1975      Deceased: November 18, 1990

On November18, 1990, Sergeant Michael Tourmo died in the line of duty from a gunshot wound. Sergeant Tourmo was patrolling in District Three when he responded to a call of a burglary that was occurring at a business. As Sergeant Tourmo approached the scene, he observed three suspects exiting the business. All three suspects fled on foot upon seeing Sergeant Tourmo, and Sergeant Tourmo pursued the suspects. As Sergeant Tourmo was chasing one of the suspects, the suspect fired numerous shots at Sergeant Tourmo one, which was a fatal shot to his head. After additional officers responded, all suspects were taken into custody.    


 

Richard E. Wagner

Appointed: November 19, 1973      Deceased: October 25, 1990

Police Officer Richard Wagner died of a heart attack after chasing a wanted suspect on October 25, 1990. Officer Richard Wagner was chasing a suspect on foot in a Northside neighborhood when he collapsed on the ground suffering a massive heart attack. 


 

Steven J. Hasenstab

Appointed: November 3, 1980      Deceased: August 19, 1989

Police Officer Steven Hasenstab died on August 19, 1989 from internal bleeding from a squad accident. Officer Hasenstab was involved in a squad accident. Officer Hasenstab believed that he only received minor injuries and was taken to a hospital along with his partner, Brian O'Keefe. Later on in the evening, when Officer Hasenstab was still in the hospital he turned for the worst, he passed away that night from a blood clot.


Roger A. Sterling

Appointed: July 20, 1981      Deceased: May 11, 1987

On May 11, 1987, Officer Roger Sterling died in the line of duty from massive injuries that he received in a squad accident. Officer Sterling and his partner were involved in a high-speed car chase. As their squad proceeded through an intersection, they collided with another squad car. The two squad cars burst into flames with Officer Sterling trapped inside. Numerous officers responded but could not remove him from the damaged squad. The officers were even attempting to kick out the front windshield to remove him but the fire grew to be too intense. 


 

Dennis J. Gorlewski

Appointed: November 21, 1960      Deceased: February 25, 1987

On February 25, 1987, Officer Dennis Gorlewski died in the line of duty from injuries that he received from a fatal motorcycle accident. Officer Gorlewski was performing an escort while riding his motorcycle. As he traveled  through the intersection of South 27th Street and West National Avenue, he was struck by a semi-trailer. The semi-trailer collided with another truck, which caused Officer Gorlewski to be pinned between the two semi trucks.  


 

Rosario J. Collura

Appointed: October 10, 1966      Deceased: March 19, 1985

Police Officer Leonard Lesnieski and Police Officer Rosario Collura were both killed on March 19, 1985 from gunshot wounds. Officers Lesnieski and Collura, stopped to question several people standing in an alley in the 2700 block of North 17th Street at approximately 9:35AM. Officer Lesnieski frisked three of the suspects and started to frisk the fourth when he panicked and stepping back pulled a weapon from his pocket and shot both officers. 


 

Leonard R. Lesnieski

Appointed: March 26, 1969      Deceased: March 19, 1985

Police Officer Leonard Lesnieski and Police Officer Rosario Collura were both killed on March 19, 1985 from gunshot wounds. Officers Lesnieski and Collura, stopped to question several people standing in an alley in the 2700 block of North 17th Street at approximately 9:35AM. Officer Lesnieski frisked three of the suspects and started to frisk the fourth when he panicked and stepping back pulled a weapon from his pocket and shot both officers. 


 

Sydney C. Snow

Appointed: October 13, 1975      Deceased: January 30, 1982

On January 30,1982, at approximately 8:40PM, Officer Sydney Snow died from a fatal gunshot wound. Officer Snow and his partner entered Sonny's Pool Hall located at 1658 West Hopkins Street, to investigate a license violation and serve a civil warrant on the operator of the hall. When they informed the suspect that he was under arrest, the suspect stated, "You're not taking me anywhere." A struggle ensued at which point the suspect pulled a .25 caliber semi-automatic from his pocket. The suspect fired his weapon numerous times, striking Officer Snow. Officer Snow's partner was able to return fire, fatally striking the suspect once in the head.


 

John Machajewski

Appointed: July 23, 1978      Deceased: December 23, 1981

One day before Christmas Eve, Police Officer Charles Mehlberg and Police Officer John Machajewski were killed on December 23, 1981 from gunshot wounds. Officers Mehlberg and Machajewski responded to the Bourbon Tavern at 1952 North 3rd Street, which was just robbed. As they approached the tavern, they spotted the suspect and both officers gave chase of the suspect on foot. As both officers ran into an alley between North 2nd Street and North 3rd Street just North of W. Brown they were both fatally shot as they turned around a corner of a house.


 

Charles S. Mehlberg

Appointed: February 19, 1978      Deceased: December 23, 1981

Officer Mehlberg was killed 12/23/81 as he and Officer Machajewski responded to an armed robbery at a tavern.


 

Thomas Kiefer

Appointed: May 21, 1973      Deceased: November 25, 1977

Police Officer Thomas Kiefer died on November 25, 1977 from a fatal gunshot wound. Officer Kiefer and his partner responded to a report of a family disturbance at 2962B North 1st Street. As Officer Kiefer was about to knock on the door, the suspect stuck a rifle out of the partly opened door and fired, fatally wounding Officer Kiefer. Officer Kiefer was taken to the Emergency Room of County General Hospital were he passed away.


 

Albert Kohn

Appointed: November 2, 1953      Deceased: October 29, 1975

Police Officer Albert Kohn died of a heart attack after chasing a holdup suspect on October 29, 1975. Officer Kohn spotted the suspect after hearing a description of him over his radio.   After taking the suspect into custody for armed robbery and bail jumping, Officer Kohn was about to call for a patrol wagon when the suspect fled on foot. Officer Kohn gave chase and caught the suspect in a parking structure in the 700 block of North Broadway where he collapsed on the first level. He was later pronounced dead at an area hospital.


 

Dennis Obradovich

Appointed: May 5, 1969      Deceased: August 18, 1975

On August 18, 1975, at approximately 1:00AM, Officer Dennis Obradovich entered the Bryants Cocktail Lounge at 1579 South Ninth Street. Four armed men entered the tavern and announced a hold-up. Officer Obraovich exchanged gunfire with the 4 robbers, striking one of them. At least a dozen of shots were exchanged with the suspects. The wounded suspects were arrested on the scene and the other suspects were arrested later.


 

Michael Draeger

Appointed: October 20, 1969     Deceased: December 28, 1974

On Saturday, December 28, 1974, Officer Michel Draeger died, at Saint Mary's Hospital from injuries that he suffered in a squad accident while on duty, which occurred on November 18, 1974. Officer Draeger was responding to a call for help of another police officer when his squad became involved in a collision at No.8th and West Center Street.

 


 

Thomas G. Matulis

Appointed: July 20, 1970      Deceased: July 10, 1974

Officer Matulis and Officer Riley  were off-duty on July 10, 1974, when they both got involved in an argument with several men on South 13th Street between West Cleveland and West Harrison Avenue. A short time later in a parking lot located at 2705 South 13th Street, shots were fired and both Officers lay dying on the sidewalk.


 

Robert D. Riley 

Appointed: July 8, 1968      Deceased: July 10, 1974

Officer Riley and Officer Matulis were off-duty on July 10, 1974, when they both got involved in an argument with several men on South 13th Street between West Cleveland and West Harrison Avenue. A short time later in a parking lot located at 2705 South 13th Street, shots were fired and both Officers lay dying on the sidewalk.


 

Ronald Reagan

Appointed: May 6, 1968      Deceased: December 13, 1973

On Thursday, December 13, 1973, at approximately 1:30AM, while inside The Bungalow Tap, Officer Reagan attempted to stop a hold up, but was shot and killed. Three men all armed with .38 caliber revolvers, came into the tavern singly. The first went to the bar and asked to use the phone while the second went up to a female patron, who was sitting nest to Officer Reagan. The second gunman put the pistol to her head and told Officer Reagan, "She dies if you move." Reagan withdrew his gun from his belt, announced that he was a police officer and fired at least once at the gunman at the bar, missing him. He did not see the third gunman in the door. The third fired a number of shots and also the other gunman opened fire on Reagan, fatally wounding Officer Reagan.


 

Charles T. Smith

Appointed: May 22, 1972      Deceased: January 31, 1973

On January 31, 1973, Officers Smith and Hempe stopped a Cadillac in the 2300 block of North Palmer Street. They called the dispatcher and asked for an additional squad as soon as possible. That was the last transmission heard from the officers. Officers Hempe and Smith had arrested the passenger from the vehicle. The driver of the Cadillac exited the auto and began firing at the officers. Officer Smith was shot at least six times, one in the head, twice in the neck, right arm, upper chest, and right thigh. Officer Hempe was shot at least three times in the left temple and twice in the neck. 


 

Gerald Hempe

Appointed: November 21, 1966      Deceased: January 31, 1973

On January 31, 1973, Officers Hempe and Smith stopped a Cadillac in the 2300 block of North Palmer Street. They called the dispatcher and asked for an additional squad as soon as possible. That was the last transmission heard from the officers. Officers Hempe and Smith had arrested the passenger from the vehicle. The driver of the Cadillac exited the auto and began firing at the officers. Officer Smith was shot at least six times, one in the head, twice in the neck, right arm, upper chest, and right thigh. Officer Hempe was shot at least three times in the left temple and twice in the neck. 


 

Paul DuPlanty

Appointed: July 20, 1970      Deceased: November 9, 1971

Officer Paul DuPlanty was killed while directing traffic on the Menomonee River Valley bridge at approximately 2:15AM on November 9, 1971. Officer DuPlanty was directing traffic on the slippery, snow covered bridge to prevent autos from striking a vehicle that was stalled in traffic. While directing traffic, a chain reaction accident occurred and the last vehicle to be struck from the rear, hit Officer DuPlanty causing him to fall off the bridge. 


 

Alan Sroczynski

Appointed: January 3, 1966      Deceased: November 8, 1970

Officer Alan Sroczynski died at approximately 6:30PM, on November 8, 1970. Officer Sroczynski and his partner were exiting the Safety Building on the State Street ramp when they were struck by a westbound vehicle. The impact of the crash caused both officers to be thrown from the van. Officer Sroczynski was taken to the hospital and passed away from massive internal injuries.


 

George Fish 

Appointed: March 19, 1962      Deceased: September 23, 1970

Police Officer George Fish died at 1:32AM, September 23, 1970, from a massive infection in the chest and abdomen resulting from a gunshot wound. Officer Fish entered a tavern at 1900 West Saint Paul Avenue (Ranch House Tavern) while two hold-up suspects were inside.  A gun battle ensued and Officer Fish was shot once in the chest from a shotgun. Officer Fish was taken to the Milwaukee County General Hospital were he passed away a short time later.


 

Bryan Moschea

Appointed: October 4, 1965      Deceased: July 31, 1967

On Monday, July 31, 1967, at approximately 1:40AM, Squad #158 heard the sound of a gunshot from 134 W. Center Street. As the detectives were exiting their squad, Captain Hagopian was shot once in the face with a shotgun, Detective Henning was shot 3 times in the chest, Detective Jones was shot once in the arm and Detective Daniels was cut with flying glass.

District Five early shift squads responded to their call for assistance. Patrolman Bryan Moschea, Patrolman John Carter, and Patrolman Thomas Borzych proceeded into the residence and attempted to take the suspect in custody. Patrolman Carter was shot once in the face, Patrolman Borzych was shot in the shoulder and Patrolman Moschea was mortally wounded in the chest. Officers were unable to rescue Moschea due to additional shots being fired. A fire broke out in the dwelling and officers were able to recover his charred body later in the morning when the flames were finally extinguished by the fire department.


 

Ronald T. Hogan

Appointed: August 11, 1952      Deceased: May 2, 1967

At approximately 12:25PM, Patrolman Hogan and his partner responded to a family fight at the same address that they were at earlier in the morning at about 8:25AM. As Patrolman Hogan knocked on the door, a shot rang out through the door, striking Patrolman in the chest. As the suspect appeared in the doorway holding a rifle, Patrolman Hogan's partner emptied his service revolver into the suspect. Patrolman Hogan died on the scene. 


 

James J. Rivers

Appointed: July 22, 1957      Deceased: March 21, 1966

On Monday, March 21, 1966, at approximately 2:15AM, Patrolman Rivers was dispatched to the area of West Galena Street to check for a suspect wanted for armed robbery that had just occurred. At approximately 3:00AM, Patrolman Rivers observed a suspect matching the description attempting to get inside a taxicab. Patrolman Rivers ordered the suspect away from the taxi, and as the suspect advanced towards Patrolman Rivers, he pulled a 9mm semi-automatic and fired at close range. Patrolman Rivers was struck with a mortal bullet wound to the head but before succumbing to the wound, Patrolman Rivers was able to fire his service weapon and struck the suspect in the left side of his chest. As a result of this, his fellow officers were able arrest the suspect a few minutes later in an alley at 1116 West Burleigh Avenue.


 

Robert Kraemer

Appointed: February 22, 1960      Deceased: February 7, 1963

At approximately 1:30AM, on February 7, 1963, Motorcycle Patrolman Robert Kraemer was responding to assist a motorists that was pinned inside their vehicle on North Prospect Avenue. While entering the intersection of East Juneau Avenue and North Van Buren, his three-wheeler motorcycle was struck by another emergency vehicle. Patrolman Kraemer was thrown from his saddle. He was taken to Milwaukee County Emergency Hospital where he passed away at 1:51AM


 

Raymond A. Nencki

Appointed: January 2, 1948      Deceased: October 5, 1959

On Tuesday, October 5, 1959, at approximately 8:00PM. Sergeant Raymond A. Nencki responded to a call of a suspicious salesman at 3953 No.63rd Street.  Upon arriving on the scene, he approached the family that had called and when doing so the suspect pulled a revolver and held Sergeant Nencki at gunpoint. At this moment, Patrolman Joe Friday arrived and was advised by Sergeant to stay back and they both attempted to reason with the suspect. The suspect advanced towards Sergeant Nencki, and at close range fired two shots, which struck Sergeant Nencki in the abdomen. As Sergeant Nencki felled to the ground, he was able to empty his revolver into the suspect, killing him. Sergeant Nencki passed away on the scene also, it was later determined that the suspect who shot and killed Sergeant Nencki was a suspect wanted for murder in another case.


 

Vernon White

Appointed: August 11, 1941      Deceased: November 10, 1951

At 9:00AM, on November 10, 1951, Patrolman White was killed in the line of duty.   Patrolman White was speeding to his assignment in accordance with civil defense plans. As Patrolman White entered the intersection of East State Street and North Edison, a vehicle came in front of him, to avoid a collision he swerved and fell off his motorcycle underneath a truck and had been run over by one of the trucks tires. Patrolman White was the second of three motorcycles, entering the intersection with their red lights and sirens activated.


 

Elmer W. Bates

Appointed: May 1, 1939      Deceased: August 23, 1948

Patrolman Elmer W. Bates was struck by an automobile as he crossed Lincoln Memorial Drive to answer a motorist's plea for help. Witnesses to the accident said that the striking vehicle had been passing another car opposite the North Point Pumping Station when the accident occurred. Patrolman Bates was thrown ten feet by the impact before the vehicle ran over him. Patrolman Bates suffered a concussion of the brain, leg and jaw fractures, which led to his death.


 

Valentine Adam

Appointed: January 2, 1948      Deceased: March 6, 1948

Patrolman Valentine Adam was killed on March 6, 1948 at 2:15AM, while directing traffic at North Downer and East Newport Avenue. Patrolman Adam was directing trucks that were in the process of removing snow from the city streets. A vehicle failed to turn and struck Officer Adam carrying him 107 feet in the air before hitting the pavement. Patrolman Adam died from a skull fracture, he didn't even have one year on the job before being killed. 


 

Frank Chybowski

DECEASED: July 12, 1946


 

Arnold Werner

Appointed: June 1, 1942      Deceased: July 10, 1943

Motorcycle Policeman Arnold Werner died on July 10, 1943 from injuries that he received when pursuing a fleeing speeder.   Officer Werner's motorcycle crashed into an automobile making a left turn at North 37th and West Wisconsin Avenue. Officer Werner passed away on his thirtieth birthday.


 

Joseph Lecher

Appointed: May 23, 1933      Deceased: March 21, 1943

Detective Joseph Lecher, who was wounded on February 21, 1943 in a gun battle with a burglary suspect, died at Mount Sinai Hospital on March 21, 1943. The shooting occurred when Detective Lecher cornered a burglary suspect, in a bedroom at 5404 W. Wells Street. Detective Lecher was hit in the chest and groin but was able to return fire striking the suspect in the neck and right wrist.


 

George Raabe

Appointed: May 27, 1929      Deceased: November 2, 1937

Detective George Raabe was killed and two uniform officers were wounded during a gun battle, which raged over 2 floors of the main plant of the Luick Dairy Company at 1132 No.6th Street. The officers surprised the three burglary suspects that were trying to break into the safe on the company containing $5,000.00. During the gun battle, one of the suspects was fatally shot next to the safe.


 

Nels Goodman

Appointed: May 4, 1925      Deceased: August 10, 1937

On August 10, 1937, Motorcycle Officer Nels Goodman suffered a fatal skull facture when he was thrown from his motorcycle August 6th at West Greenfield Avenue and So.9th Street. During the inquest, evidence revealed that the front wheel of his motorcycle lodged in a rut five inches wide and a foot long, the rut had been in the road for several years and that the street of W. Greenfield from So.2nd to 16th was in need of repair. The street was repaired a short time after Motorcycle Officer was killed in the line of duty.


 

Charles George

Appointed: January 1, 1930      Deceased: June 8, 1936 

Acting Detective Charles George, was fatally wounded shortly after 4:00AM, by a suspect whom Detective George sought to question about a filling station burglary three hours earlier. His determination to track down the burglar cost Detective George his life, since he was to have gone off duty at 2:30AM. Much earlier at approximately 1:00AM the filling station located at 2922 W. Fond du Lac Avenue was being burglarized and a beat officer surprised the suspect inside. A foot chase ensued and the officer lost sight of the suspect. Detective George being assigned to this case discovered evidence belonging to the possible suspect. Detective George went to the suspect's address at 629 W. St. Paul and hid under the porch. About an hour later, the suspects appeared and upon seeing Detective George, the suspect fled on foot. Detective George lost the suspect and returned to the station, filing his report and punching out at 3:00AM. Detective George wasn't about to give up, just yet. Detective George had seen his suspect coming out of a house located in the 1700 block of No.4th Street. Detective George played on his hunch and went to the house and when opening a closet door, the suspect, hiding inside a cardboard box fired one shot at Detective George. This one random shot was fatal.


 

Harry Pieske

Appointed: June 4, 1921      Deceased: June 27, 1935

Motorcycle Sergeant Harry Pieske was injured on June 15, 1935 when he was struck by a Hit and Run driver while leading a convoy of United States Army trucks. He was taken to Emergency Hospital in an ambulance and passed away from massive internal injuries. Sergeant Harry Pieske was the first police sergeant to die while on duty in the city of Milwaukee.


 

Richard R. Zingler

Appointed: April 26, 1924      Decreased: February 8, 1933

Patrolman Zingler went into a basement at 3824 W. Vliet Street, to warm his hands and say hello to his friend, Schweitzer, the manager of the apartment building who usually stokes the furnace about 11:20PM on cold nights. Two masked men met Officer Zingler at the foot of the steps. There was a police routine in 1933 for that kind of situation if a policeman is brave. Officer Zingler followed the routine. His hands went up slowly until they were level with his head when he lunged for the suspect's gun. The suspect shot and Officer Zingler staggered back, a .38 caliber bullet struck him in the abdomen. The suspects fled on foot and despite his wound, pursued the suspects and was able to fire one shot. Mr. Hugo Thode of 3816 W. Vliet Street, found Officer Zingler leaning against a tree with his gun dangling in his hands. "They got me," he said, "take my call box key and get the station."


 

Robert Bahlke

Appointed: January 3, 1922       Deceased: February 23, 1932

On January 14, 1932, Traffic Patrolman Robert Bahlke was directing traffic on the sixteenth street viaduct at the Plankinton Street approach, on the south end. This was a very cold rainy winter night and the driver of the striking vehicle stated that he did not see Patrolman Bahlke due to his vision being obscured by the rain. Patrolman Bahlke was rushed to St. Joseph's Hospital and was diagnosed with a fractured left hip. On Tuesday, February 23, 1932, Patrolman Bahlke died from complications developed from the original injury.


 

Hilbert Thurow

Appointed: July 9, 1926      Deceased: August 22, 1930

Patrolman Hilbert Thurow was fatally injured while directing traffic following a traffic accident that had just occurred at No.27th Street and W. Townsend. The driver of the striking automobile was headed south on No.27th Street when the driver of second automobile (a fuel truck) was making a left turn to go west on W. Townsend. The automobile spun around twice and struck Patrolman Thurow, throwing him off his feet. Patrolman Thurow died at 9:50PM from a skull fracture at County Emergency. At the time of his passing, Patrolman Thurow was working out of the Seventh District.


 

Harold W. Schmidt

Appointed: February 9, 1923      Deceased: May 4, 1925

Detective Harold Schmidt of the Police Automobile Squad was slain at 8:20PM on North Broadway about 400 feet from the Central Police Station. Detective Schmidt, who was patrolling alone in plainclothes, was shot at close range as he was about to question two men whom he had under surveillance. It is believed the killer and his companion were the automobile thieves whom Detective Schmidt had been seeking all day.


 

Joseph Kubacki

Appointed: April 1, 1919      Deceased: May 24, 1924 

Officer Joseph Kubacki of the Mineral Street Station (1003 So.6th) was shot in the left thigh at 1:00AM by car thieves, he was pursuing. Officer Kubacki encountered the men in a stolen auto and the auto fled down an alley. Officer Kubacki fired five shots into the air. At the sound of the shots, one of the men in the auto returned fire and struck Officer Kubacki who was struck in the left thigh. The shot crippled him and in falling he lost his reserve ammunition and the men escaped. Officer Ray Brown, Officer Kubacki's partner heard the shots and rushed to the scene. Kubacki was taken to Emergency Hospital and later suffered complications, which resulted in his death.


 

Walter Luedtke

Appointed: June 6, 1921      Deceased: December 18, 1924

On Thursday, December 19, 1924, Patrolman Luedtke was summoned to 897 North Pierce for a family disturbance. As he entered the residence, he got into an argument with the offender. He placed the subject under arrest and when attempting to walk the suspect down the stairs, four shots were fired. The offender had shot Patrolman Luedtke and was about to flee when the gunman's brother tackled him and wrestled the weapon away from him.

The killing of Patrolman Luedtke occurred within a stone's throw of his own home, where his wife and four year old daughter heard the sound of the 4 gunshots but were unaware that Patrolman Luedtke was involved.


 

William Kaemmerling

Appointed: January 26, 1917    Deceased: January 26, 1922

Motorcycle Patrolman William Kaemmerling was severely injured on Thursday, January 18, 1922 in a crash that occurred at Grand Avenue (Wisconsin Avenue) and 13th Street with a postal messenger's automobile. Patrolman Kaemmerling was riding this motorcycle westbound and Emmerich Richtig; a postal messenger was driving his automobile eastbound. One or both turned out to pass another automobile when the crash occurred. Patrolman Kaemmerling was thrown heavily to the pavement, thus sustaining the injuries of a broken neck and skull fracture. He was rushed to the hospital and doctors performed surgery on him but he passed away eight days later.


 

Nine Officers Die in Single Incident

 

Henry Deckert

Appointed: October 21, 1913       Deceased: November 24, 1917

Frank Caswin

Appointed: February 1, 1915       Deceased: November 24, 1917                  

Fred Kaiser

Appointed: February 7, 1905       Deceased: November 24, 1917

David O'Brien

Appointed: November 4, 1987     Deceased: November 24, 1917

Stephen Stecker

Appointed: December 1, 1899     Deceased: November 24, 1917           

Charles Seehawer

Appointed: December 1, 1899     Deceased: November 24, 1917

Edward Spindler

Appointed: July 1, 1903               Deceased: November 24, 1917              

Al Templin

Appointed: October 17, 1904       Deceased: November 24, 1917   

Paul Weiler

Appointed: December 13, 1906   Deceased: November 24, 1917

When Sam Mazzone, a janitor carried a 20-pound bomb into the Central Police Station on November 24, 1917, he did so for the good of his parish, the Italian Evangelical Church, 535 No. Van Buren Street.

Shortly after its arrival at the station, the bomb exploded, killing nine officers and one civilian in the worst tragedy in the history of the Milwaukee Police Department. Although the police bore the brunt of this tragedy, the officers were not the target of the bomber, whose identity was never discovered. Surprisingly, the bomb was meant to destroy a small Italian church located in the Third Ward and its outspoken, patriotic pastor, Rev, August Giuliana.

Josie Spicciatti, the 10-year old daughter of the cleaning lady at Italian Evangelical, discovered the bomb in a narrow passage next to the church. She carried the package into the church, knowing that inside the paper wrapping was a bomb. She did not remove the wrapping and continued working until 11:30AM. She first went home and then in search of Miss Maude L. Richter, a worker at the church. At about 4PM, Miss Richter dragged the bomb to the church basement, banging it on the steps along the way. "I saw the vial, which contained a brown fluid (sulfuric acid) and took it out," she told a reporter. "In the hole, where it had been placed, was a yellow substance like powder." But then Miss Richter carefully reassembled the deadly device, believing that thingsshould be left as they are found. At 6PM, Miss Richter sent Mazzone, the church janitor to the police station with the bomb. Mazzone briefly explained to Desk Sergeant Henry Deckert that the bomb may be linked to a near-riot several months ago, that two Italians were killed and five wounded, including two police officers.

Lieutenant Robert Flood was just finishing roll call and the policemen on duty were told that a bomb was in the stationhouse, available for their inspection, should they be so inclined. Apparently, not all the officers believed the innocent looking package was a real bomb, for some of them joked about it.

"It looked like a big dinner pail and innocent enough," according to Captain of Detectives John T. Sullivan's account of the event. But Desk Sergeant Deckert determined otherwise and took the bomb into the office of Lieutenant Robert Flood, pointed it toward Detective Arthur Burns and said, "Look at the new kind of bomb I've got." Flood, who was in charge of the station, said, "Get that thing out of here. Don't fool around with anything like that!" Deckert then brought the bomb into the squad assembly room, where the group of detectives examined the device.

In the flash of an instant, the bomb exploded, rocking the station and wreaking deadly havoc. Edward Spindler, working the switchboard on the second floor, was killed at his desk when a piece of shrapnel blasted through the floor, passing between the seat and arm on his chair, entering his body at the waist and exiting through his head. The other eight officers killed were in the assembly room, as was Catherine Walker, who had come to the station with a complaint against her boyfriend. Spared were the 18 terrified prisoners in the city jail above.

Amid the destruction that stripped walls of plaster were bodies and parts of bodies scattered everywhere. One detective's wedding band was blown from his finger, a shoe dangled from the laths in the ceiling, a hat hung on a piece of glass in a broken window. Another detective's watch was found faceup on a windowsill. Its hands were stopped at 7:33PM. Nothing of Deckert's body was found, he finally was identified by the stripe on his trousers leg.

In one single incident, the most police officers were killed at one time, and in the safety of their own stationhouse.  (Information obtained from an article written by Michael Horne)

 


 

Peter Gauer

DECEASED: July 3, 1909 


 

 

Otto H. Flieth

DECEASED: December 17, 1908 


 

 

Ernest Johnson 

DECEASED: September 15, 1904


 

 

John Kossow 

DECEASED: September 30, 1899


 

 

Frank Pidczeck

DECEASED: June 22, 1884


 

 

Information complied by: Sergeant Ken Henning/Milwaukee Police Department