Night Chief James J. Paulk

Night Chief James J. Paulk

West Frankfort Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, September 13, 1954

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James J. Paulk

Night Chief James Paulk was shot and killed while investigating reports of a man being shoved into a taxi by another man.

As he and another officer were at the scene of the incident, the witnesses observed the cab driving on Illinois Route 37 and pointed it out to the officers. Night Chief Paulk and the other officer stopped the cab and as they approached the cab, the driver opened fire, striking Night Chief Paulk in the heart.

Night Chief Paulk and the other officer returned fire but did not strike the suspect. The suspect had stolen the cab from the regular driver, who was seated in the passenger seat. The man fled the scene but was later arrested.

The suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced to 99 years. He was paroled March 7, 1968.

Night Chief Paulk, father of four children, had served with the West Frankfort Police Department for five years.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Paroled in 1968

Most Recent Reflection

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My name is Chris Paulk. I am the great nephew of Night Chief James Paulk. My father James Donald Paulk was night Chief Paulk’s nephew. If there is anything I can do to help create a memorial for night Chief James Paulk I would love to help. I would be willing to donate time and or funds to help make this possible. I thought it was very kind to hear that his story was read at roll call back in January of this year at the Richton Park police Dept. My email is
[email protected]

Chris Paulk
Private citizen

July 10, 2018

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