Chief of Police Richard Robert Vandermate

Chief of Police Richard Robert Vandermate

Oshkosh Police Department, Nebraska

End of Watch Friday, April 9, 1971

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Richard Robert Vandermate

Chief of Police Richard Vandermate was shot and killed while responding to a burglary call at a tavern on Main Street.

He observed the suspect inside the tavern when he arrived and ordered him to surrender. The teenage suspect opened fire with a .22 caliber rifle and mortally wounded the chief. Chief Vandermate was able to crawl back to his patrol car and turned on the siren to get the attention of nearby citizens who took him to a local hospital. He succumbed to his wounds the following day.

The subject was caught and convicted, but served less than 20 years.

Chief Vandermate had served in law enforcement for 10 years. He was survived by his wife and four children.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 10 years
  • Badge 001

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Thursday, April 8, 1971
  • Weapon Rifle; .22 caliber
  • Offender Captured and convicted

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Vandermate,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Oshkosh. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


[email protected]
United States Border Patrol

April 9, 2021

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