Chief of Police Michael Baer

Chief of Police Michael Baer

Fort Smith Police Department, Arkansas

End of Watch Wednesday, May 26, 1869

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Michael Baer

Chief of Police Michael Baer was shot and killed as he and a sheriff's deputy searched for a gang of horse thieves that had been active in the Fort Smith area.

The two officers were riding along the Little Rock Road (modern-day Highway 22), approximately 10 miles east of Fort Smith, when they encountered a group of three men. Before any words were exchanged the men opened fire on the officers, who returned fire.

Chief Baer was struck in the chest and fatally wounded. One of the subjects in the other group was wounded. It was later determined that the men who opened fire on them had been victims of the horse thieves earlier in the evening and mistook Chief Baer and the deputy for the thieves.

Chief Baer had recently been appointed as police chief and had previously served as constable of Fort Smith. He was survived by his expectant wife.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle
  • Offender Not available

Most Recent Reflection

View all 4 Reflections

Chief Baer,
On today, the 150th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Fort Smith.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol
El Paso Station

May 26, 2019

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