Chief of Police William Houston McCormack

Chief of Police William Houston McCormack

Courtland Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Sunday, May 2, 1948

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William Houston McCormack

Chief of Police William McCormack was shot and killed by the father of a man he had arrested the previous week.

The father held a grudge against Chief McCormack as a result of the arrest and prior incidents. The man located Chief McCormack sitting in a drug store on the town's main street and opened fire on him without provocation, shooting him six times. Despite being mortally wounded, Chief McCormack returned fire and killed the man.

Several bystanders were wounded during the shootout.

Chief McCormack had served with the Courtland Police Department for seven years. He was survived by his wife and five children.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 7 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Shot and killed


Most Recent Reflection

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Down these mean streets a man must go who is not himself mean, who is neither tarnished nor afraid. He is the hero; he is everything. He must be a complete man and a common man and yet an unusual man. He must be, to use a rather weathered phrase, a man of honor by instinct, by inevitability, without thought of it, and certainly without saying it. He must be the best man in his world and a good enough man for any world.

Chief McCormack, thank you for your service. God Bless and Rest in Peace.

Tim Gilpin
SMSgt, USAF (Ret)
USAF Security Police

November 27, 2021

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