Police Officer William W. Spencer

Police Officer William W. Spencer

Detroit Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Monday, August 5, 1929

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William W. Spencer

Officer Spencer succumbed to gunshot wounds received two days earlier when he and his partner responded to a street brawl at Larned Street and Hastings Street in Detroit's Central District.

One of the brawler's opened fire with a .45-caliber revolver, striking Officer Spencer in the leg, wrist, and stomach. Both Officer Spencer and his partner returned fire but the suspect was only struck once in the finger. The suspect was apprehended the following year and was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to life.

Officer Spencer had received a Citation of Merit only two weeks before his murder for his role in stopping an armed robbery. He had been with the agency for six years and was survived by his wife, siblings, and parents.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Saturday, August 3, 1929
  • Weapon Handgun; .45 caliber
  • Offender Sentenced to life


Most Recent Reflection

View all 5 Reflections

I’ve started to write this reflection many times. I never submitted it before; I didn’t think my words were adequate. I still don’t, but I feel like I have to say something.

I grew up hearing stories about you, Uncle Bill. Your family was so proud of you and of what you accomplished in the short time that you had. Your legacy had a great influence on my career that I find so rewarding. Daily, I pray that I would have the opportunity, ability and courage to do something good for at least one person, as I am told you did also.

Thank you for your example. Now that I am looking forward to retirement, I seem to have grown to understand more fully the sacrifices of those who have gone before us.

I can only hope that what I have done was enough for those I serve, and those that I love.


Capt. Tim Spencer
Mishawaka (IN) Police Dept.

January 27, 2016

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