Patrolman Jeremiah Joseph McDonald

Patrolman Jeremiah Joseph McDonald

Fall River Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Friday, September 27, 1918

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Jeremiah Joseph McDonald

Patrolman Jeremiah McDonald died as a result of complications of Spanish Influenza contracted while assigned to enforcing health laws in the city of Fall River.

After completing his shift, Patrolman McDonald arrived home complaining of not feeling well. He was confined to his home as his health deteriorated, and he died from the flu a week later.

The city of Fall River's first reported case of Influenza was on September 16th, 1918. By the end of the year over 11,707 cases were reported, with 719 deaths. Many members of the Fall River Police Department became ill while enforcing the city health laws. Patrolman McDonald and two other members of the Police Department died as a result of contracting Spanish Influenza.

Patrolman McDonald had served with the Fall River Police Department for 15 years. 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 40
  • Tour 15 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness
  • Incident Date Friday, September 20, 1918

communicable disease, Spanish Influenza

Most Recent Reflection

View all 2 Reflections

Patrolman McDonald, it's been over 100 years since that horrific pandemic and we've been revisited by another, though, thank God, it appears to be in the waning stages. You did your duty but sadly it took your life and deprived your family of a protector and provider. I know in my heart your descendants know of your sacrifice and honor you to this day.

God Bless you, Brother and may your eternal rest be ever peaceful.

Ptl. Jim Leahy, Jr.
Harvard University Police Department

August 10, 2022

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