Police Officer Michael L. Draeger

Police Officer Michael L. Draeger

Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Saturday, December 28, 1974

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Michael L. Draeger

Officer Michael Draeger succumbed to burns received one month earlier when his clothing caught fire following a vehicle accident.

He responded to an officer needs assistance call when his patrol wagon collided with another police car. He was able to free himself from the wreckage but his gasoline-soaked clothing caught fire.

He was transported to a burn center where he succumbed to his wounds one month later.

Officer Draeger had served with the Milwaukee Police Department for five years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 5 years
  • Badge 5

Incident Details

  • Cause Fire
  • Incident Date Monday, November 18, 1974

officer assistance, vehicle crash

Most Recent Reflection

View all 23 Reflections

Grandpa Mike,

I would be your second grandson to carry on the Draeger name. I have heard my entire life that you would have been so proud of my brother and I, though I will never know it firsthand. I trust everyone that has ever told me this, but without you here, I would be lying if I said I didn't occasionally wonder. I try to live my life in a way that makes my father proud, and that I think would make you proud as well.

I am currently in a police academy in Michigan. Less than twenty minutes ago as we closed out our first block of instruction on Emergency Vehicle Operations, I shared your story with my fellow cadets. I wanted to impress upon them the very real consequences of the decisions they make as officers. It can not only affect them, and everyone around them, but generations of their families to come.

I don't know how you would feel about your son or grandsons carrying on the law enforcement tradition. But no matter what you would have felt, I hope you would have been proud all the same. Because I feel very fortunate that I am able to continue the tradition of service to the community. I am 26 years old, the same age as you at the time of your passing. I may have taken a detour to law enforcement via military service, but I knew I would end up in law enforcement if I was still able bodied when that time came. And at 26, I still have a lot of years left to offer my fellow man. The same years that you would have had to offer. I'll carry the torch from here and will do my utmost to fill the shoes you left behind.

I'll see you when I see you.

Cadet Draeger
GTBPD / Grandson

June 14, 2022

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