Lieutenant William J. "Jack" Lavery

Lieutenant William J. "Jack" Lavery

Pittsburgh Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, August 5, 1947

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William J. "Jack" Lavery

Lieutenant William Lavery was electrocuted when he moved a 4,000-volt live wire on Roslyn Place. He had just safely moved the wire but picked it up again in an attempt to show bystanders it was safe. He was electrocuted the second time he picked it up.

Lieutenant Lavery had served with the agency for 37 years. He was survived by his wife, son, two daughters, two brothers, two sisters, and mother.


  • Age 62
  • Tour 37 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Electrocuted

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Uncle Jack was a good humored man who liked to tell funny stories. He was also a devoted husband and father - his family always came first.
On August 5, 1947 Uncle Jack and two patrolmen were on radio patrol duty - it was a stormy night and they were called to a "line break" which had darkened the district. He alerted the Duquesne Light Co. and, while waiting from them to arrive and attempting to reassure the residents of the neighborhood, he picked up what he assumed was a harmless "guy wire". It came in contact with an iron picket fence and he was electrocuted and died at once. It was a 4000 volt feeder line. Uncle Jack was 62 years old. Rest in Peace Uncle your shift is over.

Christine Darton
grand niece

June 14, 2016

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