Sergeant Dennis Warren Finch

Sergeant Dennis Warren Finch

Traverse City Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Wednesday, May 13, 1998

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Dennis Warren Finch

Sergeant Dennis Finch died of gunshot wounds sustained the previous day by a man who had armed himself with two rifles and two pistols on his porch at the 200 block of Wellington Street in Traverse City.

Sergeant Finch had been negotiating with the suspect for over an hour when the suspect opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, striking Sergeant Finch numerous times. Two other officers risked their lives by pulling his body off the porch. Sergeant Finch was admitted to the Munson Medical Center where he died the next morning at 10:30 am.

The suspect was shot and wounded in the initial gunfight but barricaded himself in his house for 10 hours before giving up. He was convicted of murdering Sergeant Finch and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Sergeant Finch had served with the Traverse City Police Department for 30 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, grandchild, mother, and 10 siblings.

The Sgt. Dennis W. Finch Law Enforcement Center, a Woodmere Avenue facility that houses the city police and the Grand Traverse County Sheriff's Department, is named for him.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 30 years
  • Badge 212

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, May 12, 1998
  • Weapon Rifle; AR-15
  • Offender Sentenced to life

barricade, weapons violation

Most Recent Reflection

View all 52 Reflections

Dear Dad
It's been many years and the pain has faded thankfully, but an ache remains. I'm now 4 years older than you were when you were killed, which amazes me. I still feel young and you had much life yet to live. It is so sad to see how many lives, (including children!) are cut short each year from the same types of weapons that ended yours. Maybe it is better you weren't around to see that. But oh how I wish you were here to see your grandchildren grow up and make more memories together. It is so comforting to read the messages people post about you and know that you are not forgotten. I hope to see you again some day and fish together on a peaceful lake or play a good game of Scrabble. Love always and forever,

Roxanne Mannello

July 31, 2022

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