Sergeant Harold J. Collins

Sergeant Harold J. Collins

Metropolitan Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Thursday, May 31, 2012

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Harold J. Collins

Sergeant Harold Collins contracted poliomyelitis while administering mouth to mouth resuscitation of a seven-year-old drowning victim on November 7th, 1955.

He responded to a call of the child being found face down and unresponsive in Lee Pool, in modern-day Lederman Park in Boston. He immediately began mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and was able to revive the child.

During her hospital stay, the girl was determined to be a carrier of all three strains of the poliovirus. Sergeant Collins contracted the virus and suffered the effects of the disease over the years and retired from active duty in 1979. Sergeant Collins was struck with the post-polio syndrome in 2004 and died of its effects on May 31st, 2012.

Sergeant Collins was a U.S. Navy veteran.


  • Age 92
  • Tour 29 years, 3 months
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Monday, November 7, 1955

water rescue

Most Recent Reflection

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Today, May 31, 2020, the Retired Association of Metropolitan Police takes a moment to honor and remember Sergeant Harold J. Collins on this her 8th anniversary. May he continue to rest in peace knowing that his memory, sacrifice and family have not been forgotten.

Tpr Thomas E. Dolan (retired)
Retired Association of Metropolitan Police

June 1, 2020

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