Sergeant Dennis Warren Finch

Sergeant Dennis Warren Finch

Traverse City Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Wednesday, May 13, 1998

Dennis Warren Finch

Sergeant Finch died of gunshot wounds sustained the previous day by a man who had armed himself with two rifles and two pistols on his porch. Sergeant Finch had been negotiating with the suspect for over an hour when the suspect opened fire with an AR-15 rifle, striking Sergeant Finch numerous times. Sergeant Finch was admitted to the hospital where died the next morning at 10:30 am.

The suspect was shot and wounded in the initial gunfight but barricaded himself in his house for 10 hours before giving up. He was convicted of murdering Sergeant Finch and sentenced to life in prison without parole.

Sergeant Finch had served with the Traverse City Police Department for 30 years. He is survived by his wife, two daughters, grandchild, mother, and 10 siblings.


  • Age 52
  • Tour 30 years
  • Badge 212

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, May 12, 1998
  • Weapon Rifle; AR-15
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

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Sgt. Finch.
7 years after your death I started my career in Law Enforcement just down the street from where you were killed. Some of your fellow officers shared stories with me about what a great man and officer you were, and I wished I would of had the chance to meet you. Today I drove by the house where you made the ultimate sacrifice for your community. I thought of you and said a quiet prayer. And for some reason I looked you up on this sight just to say thank you for your service and sacrifice. That tells me the lord meant for me to have this reflection today. Your boys in blue and in my case brown will always honor your memory. Rest easy friend we will take it from here.

Grand Traverse County

December 2, 2016

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