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Patrolman David C. Douglass, Sr. | Lower Township Police Department, New Jersey Lower Township Police Department, New Jersey

Patrolman

David C. Douglass, Sr.

Lower Township Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch: Friday, February 18, 1994

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 34

Tour: 18 years

Badge # 134

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Gun; Unknown type

Offender: Sentenced to life

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Patrolman David Douglass was shot and killed while responding to a report of a burglar.

Patrolman Douglass was pursuing, on foot, a burglary suspect who had just set a house on fire when the suspect turned and shot him. Patrolman Douglass returned fire, striking the suspect in the hand and was able to make it back to his patrol car to call for assistance but did not survive the attack.

The suspect was arrested six weeks later. He plead guilty and was sentenced to life.

Patrolman Douglass had served with the Lower Township Police Department for 18 years, as well as serving as a Lieutenant on the Town Bank Fire Department. He helped create the Lower Township SWAT team, he was an instructor at the Cape May County Police Academy, and a past president of the Policeman's Benevolent Association. He is survived by his wife, son, daughter, and step-daughter.

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I'm going to reflect on part of the Dave's homicide investigation that makes police work an amazing career to enter, it's all about public service and when to step up or step aside....we, the police, are our own Band of Brothers and at times we lose that sight and and look the other way, I guess we can call it human nature...but, one day in March 1996, two NJ Lower Township Detective Sgts (Bob Martin and his partner Jack T) came to our neck of the woods , Queens, NYC, in an attempt to find someone whether a police officer or detective of Asian descent to assist them in their endeavor to solve Dave's homicide..prior to our involvement into the investigation, countless investigators from various state and city agencies have participated in the effort, but like in all investigations, there was a bump in the road that needed to be smooth over, so the investigation can contimue to move along and come to a positive conclusion..we all have our initial impression of how people work, and in police work, especially in homicide investigations, the case investigators want the best of the best, because they themselves are part of that creed, but looking for that quality is like looking for a needle in a hay stack. So instead of bringing every investigator to Cape May, NJ, they wanted to sample the goodsame first. I could understand their delemna because they didn't want to waste their time bringing more investigators to the effort. So Bob and Jack wanted to see what me and my partner, Keith Ng were made of. Bob and Jack are seasoned police officers and pulling the wool over their eyes isnt one thing they want. They never met us before, but they have met other Asian investigators and know what theyou don't want. Now let me interject a point here, everyone confuses interview with interrogation, everyone can interview but good interrogators are a rare breed. Bob and Jack wanted to see how we shaped up in that department, were we just job interviewers or bull dog interrogators, finding the scent and going after it... To test us, Bob and Jack took us to an address in Manhattan of a possible witness, taking a back seat, we were told by Bob and Jack what they were looking for... after a brief interview with the witness, with inconclusive results, Bob and Jack says OK we have nothing here, let's go, I said hold on we aren't done with our pow wow with this guy, Bob and Jack thought we did what we had to, I said, we didn't even start, we are taking this guy back to queens back to our environment to really work on him... I'm sure Bob and Jack were surprised because most people would just stop at this point. What Bob and Jack didn't know was that NYPD Detectives work better on Oscar Tango time, that's overtime in layman terms, and police homicide investigation are cart blanche. After another 2-3 hours of intensive intereogations, with the witness in tears, we were able to gain intelligence and move along the investigation, which had stalled.
Bob and Jack found their steam roller that was going to smooth out the future bumps in the road, which brought the investigation to a positive conclusion... Bob, thanks for the annual Xmas cards ...true retirement is a few years to go...

Thomas Chin, Detective First Grade, Reti
NYC Police Department, Asian Crime Investigation Team
June 8, 2016

 

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