Patrolman Willard J. Wolff

Patrolman Willard J. Wolff

Cleveland Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Tuesday, July 23, 1968

Willard J. Wolff

Patrolman Wolff, Lieutenant Leroy Jones, and Patrolman Louis Golonka were shot and killed during the Glenville Riots.

Patrolman Wolff had served with the Cleveland Police Department for five years. He was survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.

The five days of riots began in the city's Glenville neighborhood when two civilian tow truck drivers, wearing uniforms similar to police uniforms, were shot in an ambush by heavily armed snipers while checking an abandoned car.

Over 50 officers responded to the initial shooting call and were ambushed by heavily armed militants. A total of seven people were killed and 15 wounded in the ensuing gunfire. Patrolman Wolff was one of the first officers on the scene and was shot in the face by a high-powered rifle. Lieutenant Jones was shot and killed while on foot at the corner of East 124th and Auburndale. Patrolman Golonka was shot and killed when he and other officers pursued several of the snipers into an alley and exchanged gunfire with them.

The leader of the militant group eventually turned himself in after 200 National Guard personnel were mobilized. The man was convicted and sentenced to death in the electric chair. Several of the other militants were arrested and convicted as well.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 1740

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Rifle; Semi-automatic
  • Offender Sentenced to death

Most Recent Reflection

View all 26 Reflections

Patrolman Wolff,
On today, the 49th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you to you and your two fellow Officers who were also shot and killed during that riot for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Cleveland.
And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

July 23, 2017

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.