Patrolman Thomas North Burke

Patrolman Thomas North Burke

New York City Board of Water Supply Police, New York

End of Watch Friday, May 5, 1961

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Thomas North Burke

Patrolman Thomas Burke suffered a fatal heart attack while engaging in a community policing activity with two children.

The children were flying a kite very close to overhead electrical wires in front of the of the Beerston Precinct police barracks on Route 10 in Beerston, New York. Patrolman Burke advised them not to fly the kite so close to the wires and then walked them to a field across the street from the barracks. He fixed the tail on the children's kite and then ran up the field twice, showing the children how to fly it. He returned the kite to the children then suddenly collapsed.

One of the children ran to her parent's house while the other ran to the police barracks. Other officers responded to the location where they found Patrolman Burke had died.

Patrolman Burke had served with the New York City Bureau of Water Supply Police Department for 11 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and four sisters.


  • Age 51
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge 213

Incident Details

  • Cause Heart attack

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Burke,
On today, the 60th anniversary of of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of New York City. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

May 5, 2021

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