Police Officer William Sebastian Hendrickson

Police Officer William Sebastian Hendrickson

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Monday, October 7, 1918

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William Sebastian Hendrickson

Police Officer William Hendrickson died as a result of contracting the Spanish Influenza while on duty.

Due to the devastation of the Spanish Influenza pandemic, Philadelphia Police districts were used as makeshift hospitals. Police officers were ordered to fill and deliver prescriptions, act as pallbearers of victims, placard homes, collect bodies of victims of homes, assist doctors and health officers, and make sure establishments were closed and following guidelines to stop the spread of the flu.

Officer Hendrickson served with the Philadelphia Police Department for more than 12 years and was attached to the 23rd Police District. He was survived by his wife, and four children.

Effects of Spanish Flu on Law Enforcement

From 1918 to early 1919, the Spanish Flu pandemic infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed approximately 675,000 Americans. Many officers contracted this virus due to the requirements of their job.

The names of every officer who died in the line of duty from the Spanish Flu will likely never be known, but ODMP researchers continue to uncover new cases as part of our mission to never forget the fallen.

Please click here to view ODMP's Spanish Flu memorial listing all known fallen officers from the pandemic.


  • Age 39
  • Tour 12 years, 3 months
  • Badge 2303

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Thursday, September 26, 1918

Spanish Influenza

Most Recent Reflection

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On this 102nd anniversary of your untimely death I would like to reiterate my previous reflection and say that your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten by your LE brethren. Rest in peace.

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

October 7, 2020

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