Chief of Police William Irvin Garland

Chief of Police William Irvin Garland

Burkburnett Police Department, Texas

End of Watch Saturday, May 18, 1935

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William Irvin Garland

Chief Garland drowned when a bridge over the Red River, collapsed during a period of heavy flooding.

The chief had noticed that a number of people were on the bridge watching the rising flood waters. As he went onto the bridge to warn them to get off, the bridge was struck by timber from a railroad bridge that had collapsed upstream.

The impact of the timber caused the bridge to collapse. Chief Garland and six citizens were thrown into the river and drowned as a result.

Chief Garland had served with the agency for 15 years. He is survived by his wife and eight children.


  • Age 64
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Drowned

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Garland and his family
Thank you for your years of service to the City of Burkburnett Texas. I lived in Burkburnett as a young boy and still have many relatives who live in and around Burk. One of my Uncle's Homer Provence was also a former Burkburnett Chief of Police. I went into Law Enforcement and after 30 years retired as a Commander with Santa Ana Calif Police
Department Department in Southern Calif. My early life in Burk gave me the desire and interest to go into Law Enforcement. Thank you to all the past, current and future Officers in Burkburnett Police Department.
Collie Provence
(Retired Police Commander, Santa Ana Police ).

Collie Provence Retired Police Commande
Santa Ana Police Commander Retired

March 7, 2020

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