Bio & Incident Details
Tour: 30 years
Badge # Not available
Cause: Duty related illness
Incident Date: 12/5/1975
Captain Jerome Poelking died after contracting an illness as a result of being spat upon. He and other officers had responded to a robbery call and, when they arrived, discovered the suspects holding 15 hostages in the basement. As Captain Poelking negotiated with the suspects one of them spat on his face.
When Captain Poelking awoke the following day he had a temperature of 104º and had difficulty breathing. He was taken to a local hospital and died three days later from meningococcal meningitis, an inflammation of his brain and spinal cord.
Captain Poelking had served with the Cleveland Police Department for 30 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.