Chief of Police Vernon Porter Moses

Chief of Police Vernon Porter Moses

Ross Township Police Department, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Tuesday, May 3, 1932

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Vernon Porter Moses

Chief Vernon Moses was shot and killed during a traffic stop of suspected bootleggers on Perrysville Avenue.

During the 1930’s the John Maug Gang was terrorizing Allegheny County with a series of burglaries, armed robberies, and shootings of area police officers. During the evening of May 3, 1932 Ross Township Chief Moses was on patrol when he observed the Maug Gang driving on a local roadway.

A vehicle pursuit ensued and Chief Moses was able to pull in front of and stop the Maug Gang’s vehicle at the site of the former Keating Trolley Car Barn located at the corner of Perrysville and Westview Avenues.

Chief Moses pulled in front of the robber’s vehicle and exited his patrol car, service pistol and flash light in hand; as he engaged the driver and passengers of the vehicle, the suspects fired two shots at Chief Moses, striking him in the right shoulder and face. Chief Moses died at the scene as the suspects fled to the 22nd Street Bridge in the City of Pittsburgh where they threw their guns into the Monongahela River.

Three suspects were apprehended and convicted of Chief Moses' murder and received sentences ranging from 40 to 120 years in prison. Two of the men escaped from the Western Penitentiary, along with a third inmate, on April 27, 1933. In May of 1933 the two men were arrested when they attempted to rob a Western Union Office in Lakewood, Colorado. They spent the rest of their lives in prison.

Chief Moses had served with the Ross Township Police Department for 12 years.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 12 years
  • Badge 1

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Sentenced to 120 years

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Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice are always remembered by your law enforcement family.

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

May 3, 2021

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