Doorman James D. O'Connell

Doorman James D. O'Connell

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Wednesday, September 14, 1904

Add to My Heroes

James D. O'Connell

Doorman James O'Connell died from injuries sustained in a gas explosion at the Atlantic Avenue Police Station.

Doorman O'Connell was on duty at the Atlantic Avenue Police Station when he smelled gas. Doorman O'Connell went into the basement to investigate. While in the basement, he lit a match to locate the leak. As he searched for the leak, there was an explosion. Doorman O'Connell was severely burned. He was taken to Saint Mary's Hospital, where he died four days later from his injuries.

Doorman O'Connell served with the New York City Police Department for 15 years. Doorman O'Connell was a veteran of the Civil War, enlisting with the First Massachusetts Cavalry in July 1862. He served as an orderly to General Meade at the Battle of Gettysburg. After the Civil War ended, he moved to New York City with his family.

Doorman O'Connell was survived by his wife, two daughters, and a son.

The precinct Doorman, a uniform NYPD rank below that of Patrolman, was a combination turnkey/custodian – he was responsible for the upkeep of the stationhouse, guarding and transporting prisoners, shoveling coal, and taking out the ashes. They would also make sure the Patrolmen were awake after reserve duty. The rank was abolished on April 16, 1912.


  • Age 64
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Explosion
  • Incident Date Saturday, September 10, 1904


Most Recent Reflection

View all 1 Reflections

“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God."
Matthew 5:9

Chris Di Gerolamo
Federal Air Marshal Service

December 30, 2021

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.