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ODMP Remembers...

Police Officer Brian Heywood Chappell | West Palm Beach Police Department, Florida West Palm Beach Police Department, Florida

Police Officer

Brian Heywood Chappell

West Palm Beach Police Department, Florida

End of Watch: Monday, August 22, 1988

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 31

Tour: 5 years

Badge # 826

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Handgun

Offender: Sentenced to death

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Officer Chappell was shot and killed during a traffic stop during a speed enforcement assignment. As Officer Chappell approached the vehicle the driver leaned out and fired a single shot which struck Officer Chappell in the heart. He was able to call for assistance before succumbing to his injuries. The suspect was apprehended two days later and sentenced to death. Officer Chappell had left his vest in his locker due to the excessive heat.

Officer Chappell had been with the agency for five years and was survived by his parents, three brothers, and sister.

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Most Recent Reflection

I was a dispatcher with West Palm Beach PD when this happened. It was extremely difficult and brought to light a lot of issues that were happening with the radio communications back in the day. I left West Palm PD shortly after the incident... not because of it... but because of all that I had learned in my time there and took it with me as Dispatch Supervisor for another agency. I went on to have a very long career that I do not regret but sadly did way too many final sign offs with my department. I did not know Brian well, but his death taught me to be a better dispatcher. And for that, I thank him as I can imagine every officer I worked with over the next 16 years did.

Pamela Heaston, Ret Dispatch Supv
Former WPBPD Dispatcher/Call Taker
March 1, 2016

 

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