Patrolman Willie Stephenson

Patrolman Willie Stephenson

New York City Housing Authority Police Department, New York

End of Watch Sunday, July 3, 1966

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Willie Stephenson

Patrolman Willie Stephenson drowned during a rescue attempt at Orchard Beach while off duty.

He observed a female drowning and dove into the water from his boat. Patrolman Stephenson was able to save the drowning woman by handing her to another off-duty officer but went underwater and did not resurface. His body was located several hours later.

Patrolman Stephenson had served with the New York City Housing Authority Police Department for one year. He was survived by his expectant wife and son. His daughter was born 23 days after his death.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned

off duty, water rescue

Most Recent Reflection

View all 37 Reflections

This is a Hero. Patrolman Stephenson died saving others. Proud to have served on the same force as Patrolman Stephenson. Although I was only 6 years old when Patrolman Stephenson lost his life. I was reading about this Officer and was wondering how is family was and how they coped with such a great loss. I then saw the reflection written by his son Will Stephenson Jr. Hope you and your sister are ok William Jr.. Very sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine what you, your mother and your sister went through. Will, your dad and you and your family are in my prayers. Brian Wall, Retired Sergeant, HPD

Sgt. (Retired) Brian P. Wall
NYC Housing Police Department

October 29, 2023

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