Chief of Police Joseph Wilson Norris

Chief of Police Joseph Wilson Norris

Juniata Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, June 18, 1919

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Joseph Wilson Norris

Chief of Police Joseph Norris succumbed to injuries sustained the night before when he attempted to arrest two men who were attempting to break into a home on Fifth Avenue.

Chief Norris had just returned home for the night when he was called and alerted to the incident, which was occurring only one block away from his home. He located the subjects on the front porch of a home at 516 Fifth Avenue, and discovered they were both drunk.

He began to escort the two men to the borough jail but as they approached the jail at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Seventh Street the two men started to become beligerent. One of the men punched Chief Norris in the head, knocking him to the ground and causing a skull fracture when his head hit a curb. Both men were subdued by citizens and placed in the jail.

Chief Norris never regained consciousness and died the following morning.

The suspects, ages 25 and 26, were released after posting bail. Ten days later one, who worked for the railroad, was killed when he fell underneath a train. The other suspect was acquitted after his attorney convinced the jury that the other suspect caused Constable Norris' death.

Chief Norris had served with Juniata Borough Police Department for 13 years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 66
  • Tour 13 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Assault
  • Incident Date Tuesday, June 17, 1919
  • Weapon Person
  • Offender Deceased

Most Recent Reflection

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Please know that no passage of time will ever erase your service and sacrifice and you will always be remembered. Rest in peace always.

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

June 18, 2020

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