Auxiliary Police Officer William James Henhoeffer

Auxiliary Police Officer William James Henhoeffer

Philadelphia Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Sunday, December 25, 1955

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William James Henhoeffer

Auxiliary Police Officer William Henhoeffer was struck and killed by a drunk driver while he directed traffic at the intersection of Frankford Avenue and Primrose Street following a midnight mass Christmas service. A witness got the drivers license number which led police to his home where he was arrested for drunk driving, hit-and run, and manslaughter.

The 38-year-old driver was convicted of hit-and-run. The judge dismissed the other charges stating that the drivers insurance company would refuse to pay a $9,000.00 settlement to Officer Henhoeffer's widow if he was convicted of manslaughter or drunk driving. The driver paid a small fine and got no jail time. Several citizens and the news media wanted an explanation as to why the case was settled this way, but never got one.

Auxiliary Police Officer Henhoeffer served with the Philadelphia Police Department for 14 years and was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 55
  • Tour 14 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Vehicular assault
  • Weapon Automobile; Alcohol involved
  • Offender Charges dismissed

directing traffic

Most Recent Reflection

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On this actual anniversary and Christmas Day I will reiterate my previous reflection and say that your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

December 25, 2020

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