Police Officer William T. Birch

Police Officer William T. Birch

Fort Lee Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Sunday, September 4, 1966

Add to My Heroes

William T. Birch

Police Officer William Birch was shot and killed while when he responded to a holdup alarm at a hotel on Route 4 West at 0045 hours. As he arrived on scene one of the two suspects exited the hotel lobby and shot him three times, killing him. The suspect then abducted a couple at gunpoint and forced them to drive away. The suspect was arrested a short time later after a shootout with officers. The man he abducted also assisted with the arrest as he was armed at the time the suspect abducted them.

The second suspect was also apprehended after a shootout with officers. The suspect who shot Officer Birch was sentenced to death but had the sentenced commuted to life in prison in 1972 when the death penalty was abolished. The man was paroled in 1982.

In January 2005, at the age of 79, the suspect was arrested in Massachusetts for attempting to sell a handgun to an informant while bragging that he killed a police officer in New Jersey and got away with serving only 15 years. He was returned to prison in New Jersey for violating his parole. He died in prison 2 years later.

Officer Birch had been with the agency for just over two years and was survived by his wife and three daughters.

Bio

  • Age 26
  • Tour 2 years, 6 months
  • Badge 134

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; .38 caliber
  • Offender Died in prison

robbery

Most Recent Reflection

View all 33 Reflections

Rest in peace always and please know that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your fellow law enforcement.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

September 4, 2020

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

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