Patrolman Joseph J. Westlake

Patrolman Joseph J. Westlake

Narragansett Police Department, Rhode Island

End of Watch Friday, August 22, 1902

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Joseph J. Westlake

Patrolman Joseph Westlake was shot and killed after he and his partner responded to the sounds of shots being fired.

He and his partner were walking a beat along the old Narragansett Pier where casinos were located at the time. There was a fight in a nearby bar between two local men and two U.S. Army soldiers, during which, a soldier pulled his gun and fired at one of the men but didn't hit him.

Patrolman Westlake and his partner were alerted to the shots and ran to investigate. The soldier with the gun ran off with the officers in pursuit. During the chase, the soldier fired at the two officers, killing Patrolman Westlake and wounding his partner. The soldier was later apprehended and charged with murder.

The soldier, who claimed he thought the officers were two tramps he earlier had trouble with, was tried and acquitted.

Patrolman Westlake was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 31
  • Tour Not available
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Acquitted

shots fired call

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Westlake, it has been 111 years since you were taken from us. New England law enforcement has continued to thrive, learn and become safer due to the traditions and sacrifices you, your family, and many others have made for us. Thank you for your law enforcement service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

August 22, 2023

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