Patrolman Anthony J. Garaffa

Patrolman Anthony J. Garaffa

Irvington Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, August 9, 1984

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Anthony J. Garaffa

Patrolman Anthony Garaffa was shot and killed while investigating a call involving suspicious activity near 40th Street and Springfield Avenue at 1130 am.

When he arrived at the scene, he encountered three men and began to question them. When he asked one of the men what was in a bag the man was carrying, the suspect reached into it and fired a sawed-off shotgun through the bag, fatally wounding Patrolman Garaffa. Patrolman Garaffa was taken to University Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds approximately five hours later.

The 21-year-old suspect turned himself in about two hours after the shooting and was charged with capital murder. He was convicted and sentenced to death. On February 14, 1991, his sentence was commuted to 30 years to life. He will be eligible for parole on January 19, 2022.

Patrolman Garaffa had served with the Irvington Police Department for 16 years and had received over 40 letters of commendation throughout his career. He was survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter.


  • Age 41
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge 13

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Incident Date Wednesday, August 8, 1984
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Sentenced commuted to 30 years

suspicious activity, suspicious person

Most Recent Reflection

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Having heard for the first time about officer Tony Garaffa through another great officer now Retired Sgt. Ken Hogen from Irvington PD inspired me so much.
I look forward to continuing to live my life remind myself of the sacrifices officers make and how selfless they are so that everyone else like my family and I can live in a safer world.

Isaias Rodrigues
Springfield OEM Auxiliary member

May 31, 2023

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