Chief of Police William M. Cann

Chief of Police William M. Cann

Union City Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, August 29, 1974

Add to My Heroes

William M. Cann

Chief of Police William Cann succumbed to gunshot wounds sustained on June 11th, 1974, when he was shot during a community meeting to discuss the relations between the police department and the Hispanic community.

The meeting was being held in Our Lady of the Rosary Church at 703 C Street. Five shots were fired from a .30-caliber rifle through a window from approximately 60 feet away. Chief Cann was hit twice in the neck and three civilians were shot. The three civilians survived.

The suspect, a former member of a militant group, was convicted of second-degree murder.

Chief Cann had served as the Chief of the Union City Police Department for 15 months. He had previously served with the San Anselmo Police Department, Novato Police Department, and San Bruno Police Department.


  • Age 32
  • Tour 11 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Tuesday, June 11, 1974
  • Weapon Rifle; .30 caliber
  • Offender Convicted of murder

ambush, sniper

Most Recent Reflection

View all 23 Reflections

I began my new job as a Dispatcher for the Union City Police Department on the day of Chief Cann's funeral services. I was very humbled to be amongst the dedicated Police Officers during this very troubling time of their careers. I remember Officers Al Guzman (who hired me), John Miner and Joan Honebein very well and admired and respected every Officer on the force in that they were able to continue their positions with the utmost honor, integrity and professionalism. Chief Cann would be very proud of each and every one of you and will never forget how proud I was to work with the Officers of the Union City Police Department and to put on my own uniform each night before going to work. I have the utmost respect for Police Officers everywhere; they sacrifice everything to protect the citizens of their cities and counties. Please honor the Police Officers and Firefighters in your own communities and remember that they are also citizens just like you and I are.

Brenda Foster, Dispatcher
Union City Police Department, 1974-1975

April 5, 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.