Patrolman William Lewis Ammerman

Patrolman William Lewis Ammerman

Wilkes-Barre Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, November 23, 1909

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William Lewis Ammerman

Patrolman Lewis Ammerman died as a result of contracting pneumonia two weeks earlier while securing the scene of a live wire down in South Wilkes-Barre.

While at the scene he was exposed to a heavy rainstorm without any protection from the rain and in an open area where he could not take shelter. He stood guard over the live wire until it was safely removed over three hours later. Patrolman Ammerman continued to work until he became sick on duty and was ordered to go home to rest by his sergeant. His condition grew worse and he developed pneumonia and died two weeks later.

Patrolman Ammerman served with the Wilkes-Barre Police Department for seven months. He was survived by his wife and three children.


  • Age 30
  • Tour 7 months
  • Badge 60

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Wednesday, November 10, 1909

weather, Wires down

Most Recent Reflection

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Patrolman Ammerman, your sacrifice is a learning experience for all who have come after you. We cannot and hopefully no longer do leave our Brothers and Sisters exposed needlessly to the elements. Someone, anyone now provides assistance if not in the form of a vehicle (which is often the case in this day and age) or sufficient rain gear. But nothing is guaranteed.

Upon reading your story, I will now make a special effort, above what I try to do already, to make sure a fellow Officer is looked after whether I am on or off duty. I thank you for your service and I appreciate the lesson.

God Bless, Brother and may your eternal rest be ever peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

November 28, 2018

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