Chief of Police Charles Brendon Cavanaugh

Chief of Police Charles Brendon Cavanaugh

Bernardsville Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Tuesday, September 8, 1931

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Charles Brendon Cavanaugh

Chief of Police Charles Cavanaugh was shot and killed from ambush.

Chief Cavanaugh was investigating the scene of a fire when an intoxicated man who was angry that the Chief had issued his wife a summons for a motor vehicle violation, suddenly opened fire with a handgun. Chief Cavanaugh was shot several times and succumbed to his injuries shortly thereafter.

The killer was tried for the murder in 1934 and sentenced to 20 years in prison. He died in prison on August 20, 1936, of kidney failure and heart disease.

Chief Cavanaugh was 29 years old at the time of his death. He was survived by his wife and child.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Died in prison

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Cavanaugh,
On today, the 90th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of St. Bernardsville. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

September 8, 2021

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