Deputy Sheriff George A. Bills

Deputy Sheriff George A. Bills

Palmer Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Tuesday, February 25, 1919

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George A. Bills

Deputy Sheriff George Bills was shot and killed while attempting to arrest a fleeing suspect who was aboard a train that stopped in Palmer.

Deputy Bills and Officer Charles B. Thomas received word that a person suspected of shooting Springfield, Massachusetts, Police Lieutenant James Daly had boarded a train bound for Palmer. When the officers arrived at the train station they located the suspect on the train. When they approached the suspect he attempted to flee, shooting Officer Thomas once in the leg and Deputy Bills three times in the abdomen as he ran. Officer Thomas fired two shots at the suspect, striking him. The suspect was taken into custody, despite their injuries, with the help of passengers. Deputy Bills was transported to the hospital where he succumbed to his injuries later that day.

Officer Thomas was treated but survived and went on to become Deputy Chief of the agency. The Springfield officer, Lieutenant Daly, also survived his injuries.

The suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life on May 10, 1920. He was pardoned by Governor James Curley on December 25, 1936. It was later discovered the suspect's father paid a member of the governor's council 1500 dollars to recommend the pardon. He along with a state representative, who tried to cover up the bribe, were impeached and found guilty of perjury.

Deputy Bills had served in law enforcement for 22 years. He was survived by his wife, sister, and two nephews.


  • Age 72
  • Tour 22 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Pardoned in 1936

Most Recent Reflection

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Deputy Bills, it has been 105 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 22 years of law enforcement service.

Chief (Ret) Steven Marshall
Georges Mills, NH

February 25, 2024

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