Chief of Police Robert G. Sparks

Chief of Police Robert G. Sparks

Glenolden Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, March 25, 1975

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Robert G. Sparks

Chief of Police Robert Sparks was shot and killed when he and another officer attempted to take action when they were robbed while off duty.

The two were leaving a pharmacy, at the intersection of Chester Pike and Glenolden Avenue, after picking up medication for the other officer. As the two walked out of the door two suspects demanded the bag, thinking that there was money in it after mistaking Chief Sparks for the pharmacist. When the officers took action one of the suspects opened fire, fatally wounding Chief Sparks.

Both 17-year-old suspects were apprehended and sentenced to life.

Chief Sparks had served with the Glenolden Borough Police Department for 20 years.


  • Age 45
  • Tour 20 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .32 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life

off duty, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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I never met Chief Sparks. The stories I heard about him were legendary to say the least but he had a profound part in my life in law enforcement. Because of his untimely death during this robbery gone bad a vacancy was created on the Glenolden Police Dept. I was hired to fill this vacancy and every day for the next 23 years I never forgot the sacrifice of Robert G. Sparks. I truly know what it possibly meant for someone to have to go through to just get a job they wanted all their lives. Even if it meant someone else had to lose theirs. The Officer with Chief Sparks that night went on to become one of my best friends and I never knew him prior to becoming a LEO. RIP Robert G. Sparks

Patrolman Francis Hogan
Glenolden Police Department Retired

March 25, 2021

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