Officer Abigail J. Powlett

Officer Abigail J. Powlett

Plainfield Police Division, New Jersey

End of Watch Friday, March 15, 1985

Add to My Heroes

Abigail J. Powlett

Officer Abigail Powlett was shot and killed by a suspect who had overpowered her and taken her as a hostage.

She and another officer had responded to a call involving a man with a gun. The two officers made contact with the suspect and as Officer Powlett searched him the man began to resist and gained control of her service weapon.

The subject held Officer Powlett on the ground with the gun pressed against her head. Other officers responded to the scene and immediately began negotiating with the man. Without warning, the man shot Officer Powlett in the head, killing her. The other officers returned fire, fatally wounding the suspect.

Officer Powlett had served with the Plainfield Police Department for three years. She was survived by her mother and two children.


  • Age 33
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed

Most Recent Reflection

View all 51 Reflections

Abby was my English comp student at Rutgers. She was one of the best, if not the best, writers I have ever had in class. As I recall, she wrote for the Newark Star-Ledger for a while after she finished her studies at Rutgers. Years ago, I was glancing through a week-old newspaper and saw her picture. I immediately thought, "Abby is doing some more good work, somewhere." Sadly, that was not the case. It was the account of her murder. She is gone, but she will remain in my memory as a warm, friendly woman who had so much to offer.

Michael Terreri
Rutgers University

July 30, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.