Patrolman David L. Cole

Patrolman David L. Cole

Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Wednesday, July 17, 1974

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David L. Cole

Patrolman David Cole was shot and killed after responding to an alarm call at United Dairy Farmers at 2373 Florence Avenue.

When he arrived on the scene, he observed two men walking nearby. As he approached them, they opened fire, wounding him twice. One of the suspects then took Patrolman Cole's revolver and shot him again. Patrolman Cole was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his wounds.

Both suspects, both 23, were sentenced to death but had the sentences commuted to life. One of the men was paroled in 1991 and moved to California. The other suspect has been denied parole four times, and the next hearing is on March 1, 2027.

Patrolman Cole was an Ohio National Guard veteran and had served with the Cincinnati Police Department for five years. His father was also a Cincinnati Police Officer. He was survived by his wife, parents, and four siblings.

In September 2021, a street near Florence and Gilbert Avenues in Walnut Hills was named after Patrolman David Cole. In 2023, a portion of Interstate 71 was dedicated as “Patrolman David L. Cole Memorial Highway.”

He is buried in Saint Peter Cemetery, New Richmond, Ohio.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge P160
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Sunday, July 14, 1974
  • Weapon Officer's handgun
  • Offender Two sentenced to life. One paroled

alarm, ambush, robbery

Most Recent Reflection

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman David L. Cole of the Cincinnati Police Department, Ohio and the additional 89 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

July 17, 2023

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