Officer Karl William Reishus

Officer Karl William Reishus

Juneau Police Department, Alaska

End of Watch Monday, May 4, 1992

Karl William Reishus

Officer Karl Reishus succumbed to injuries sustained the previous day when he fell from a 40-foot tower during a training exercise.

He was training with members of Juneau Mountain Rescue Volunteer Group as they practiced a rescue scenario that involved lowering a victim in a litter while a rescuer rappelled alongside the victim. Something went wrong with the ropes as Officer Reishus attempted to stabilize them. He was pulled over a 3-foot safety wall and fell to the ground below. The person in the litter and the rappeller also fell to the ground and were both injured.

Officer Reishus had served with the Juneau Police Department for two years and had previously served with the Sitka Police Department for four years. He is survived by his wife, two sons and daughter.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 6 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Training accident
  • Incident Date Sunday, May 3, 1992

Most Recent Reflection

View all 25 Reflections

As a professional rope rescue technician & rescue swimmer I spend a good part of my year passing on my knowledge to those who attend my various training classes. Today I was going over my notes for an upcoming school and I thought about Officer Reishus and I wanted you to know why. To this day every one of my students are taught to refer to the safety lines we use for positive tie off when working at height as a “Juneau”. To his wife Sue & to SR. Det. Jennings, I’ve read your posts. Rest assure your husband and friend did not die in vain. The term “Juneau” was taught to me many years ago by a rescue legend. Officer Reishus’ story has been used thousands of times by me and many, many others when conveying the importance of “Safety First”. I have absolutely no doubt that his sacrifice has saved countless lives. Because of your words on this refection page I now have an even deeper backstory about his loss to refer to when teaching and I greatly appreciate having found this.

Captain Chris "Shaggy" Williams
West of the Brazos Rescue Team

April 19, 2018

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