Chief of Police Joseph Francis Merva

Chief of Police Joseph Francis Merva

Throop Borough Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, April 16, 1972

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Joseph Francis Merva

Chief of Police Joseph Merva suffered a fatal heart attack six days after responding to a multi-vehicle accident with injuries.

Chief Merva was the first officer on the scene. He provided first aid to several people who were injured after attempting to extricate a person who was trapped inside one of the vehicles that rolled over on to its roof. Once medics arrived at the scene he proceeded in assisting them in getting the victims into the ambulance and then directed traffic around the scene of the accident.

He returned to the police station after the accident was cleared and began displaying symptoms of a heart attack. When he arrived home after completing his shift he complained of chest pains and having a loss of appetite. He called off work the next day but returned to work the next following two days completing his normal shift work. While off duty at his home he suffered a fatal heart attack.

Chief Merva was a U.S Army veteran of WWII and had served with the Throop Borough Police Department for 17 years. He was survived by his wife and three daughters.


  • Age 40
  • Tour 17 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Heart attack
  • Incident Date Monday, April 10, 1972

vehicle crash

Most Recent Reflection

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Chief Merva,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Throop Borough. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

April 16, 2022

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