Chief of Police William M. Cann

Chief of Police William M. Cann

Union City Police Department, California

End of Watch Thursday, August 29, 1974

William M. Cann

Chief Cann succumbed to gunshot wounds received almost three months earlier when he was shot during a community meeting to discuss the relations between the police department and the Hispanic community.

Five shots were fired from a a .30 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 when he was injured. He had previously served with the San Anselmo, Novato, and San Bruno Police Departments.


  • 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 second degree murder

Most Recent Reflection

View all 17 Reflections

I was a young man living just a few blocks away from the church where the Chief was assassinated by those cowardly excuses for men. Rest assured that these creeps not only lived useless lives before the crime, their remaining years are to be spent in pursuit of an even more meaningless and empty existence behind a wall. Their names would've evaporated like the slimy fungus living inside their black hearts had it not been for their cowardly actions. I took a law enforcement class as a senior co-taught by a police officer (Schwartz?) who went on to become chief in Morgan Hill.

Critchfield - civilian
Union City Police Explorer 1973

January 7, 2019

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