Reserve Police Officer Benjamin Kauffman

Reserve Police Officer Benjamin Kauffman

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, October 9, 1918

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Benjamin Kauffman

Reserve Police Officer Benjamin Kauffman died as a result of contracting the Spanish Influenza as he and other officers transported the bodies of influenza victims. Officer Kauffman began to feel ill and was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital, where he died of complications of Spanish Influenza before midnight.

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 in homes, assist doctors and health officers, and make sure establishments were closed and following guidelines to stop the spread of the flu.

Reserve Police Officer Kauffman served with the Philadelphia Police Department for almost 17 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.

Bio

  • Age 44
  • Tour 16 years, 11 months
  • Badge 97

Incident Details

  • Cause Duty related illness

Spanish Influenza, Epidemic

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

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Federal Air Marshal Service (Retired)

May 25, 2024

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