Patrolman Joseph Phillip Tracz, Jr.

Patrolman Joseph Phillip Tracz, Jr.

Cleveland Division of Police, Ohio

End of Watch Monday, September 28, 1970

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Joseph Phillip Tracz, Jr.

Patrolman Joseph Tracz was shot and killed and his partner was seriously injured after they stopped a vehicle, occupied by two men, for running a stoplight.

As Patrolman Tracz's partner was speaking with the driver, the driver suddenly opened fire with a pistol hitting him in the groin, chest, and mouth. His passenger then shot Patrolman Tracz. Patrolman Tracz's partner managed to crawl back to his cruiser and radio for help.

In May of 1972, the suspects who had been at large, were arrested after they robbed a bank near the scene of the shooting. A year later both suspects were convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Patrolman Tracz's killer was denied parole on November 9, 2009. His next parole hearing is in 2019.

Patrolman Tracz had served with the Cleveland Police Department for less than 1 year. He was a Vietnam Veteran. He is survived by his wife and unborn child.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 1 year
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; Pistol
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 36 Reflections

In 2019 I made sure to be at the parole hearing for Tracz’s killer. I wanted to update everyone that the parole was denied for the killer. I will be there in 2029 to be sure his killer serves his life sentence. You will always be a hero’ Officer Tracz.RIP

Officer Michele Fulton
Reynoldsburg Division of Police

October 4, 2020

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