Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman William J. Otis

Pittsburgh Bureau of Police, Pennsylvania

End of Watch Wednesday, March 3, 1971

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Reflections for Patrolman William J. Otis

I worked with Bill at the American Bridge Plant before joining the Bureau of Police. I worked on the Electrical Crew and bill worked on one of the machines along with his partner Jack Long. I was the first to be called by the police dept. and Bill and Jack were hired later. I was assigned to the number six station n Squirrel Hill, walked a beat and was later assigned to a vehicle which patrolled the Hazelwood Area. I guess it was approximately eight months later that Bill was hired and was also sent to the Squirrel Hill Station. Since it was customary to assign new men on a beat Bill was assigned the beat in Hazelwood. While patrolling on the night turn shift I would stop by to see if Bill needed anything and would at times take him to the Fire house on Flowers Ave. -We would sit and talk about things happening in our lives and Bill would say that he was anxious to be assigned to a vehicle so he would be able to be with his wife and new born. I tried to calm him by saying that his time would come and shortly there after when the Hazelwood cars were transferred to the Oakland Station at Semple and Louisa Streets, Bill was assigned to Veh. 402 and surprisingly his partner would be Jack Long who had also been hired as a Police Officer.
Bill was so excited that he would be going onto the daylight shift and was actually late for roll call on that first day. I was on the daylight shift also working Hazelwood and Bill and Jack were working the Oakland Area. Snow began to fall that morning and began to pile up quickly making the city streets very slippery. Traffic was tied up every where and car 402 received the call on Centre Ave. where there was reported to be a burglary in progress. Radio asked if anyone could give them a back up but nobody responded since everyone was tied up on traffic calls. Myself and my partner Larry Casto told radio that we would start from Hazelwood but it was slow since the streets were tied up.
Approximately 15 minutes into the call Jack Long called in an emergency and said his partner had been shot. By the time we arrived on the scene the Paramedics were transferring Bill to the hospital where he later passed away. I will never forget that tragic day and the date in March makes me sad because I think of Bill.

Retired Pgh. Police - Eddie Wirkowski

March 4, 2020

His loving wife (Blance Otis ) died on October 8th 2019

Greg Fleming
CRRU nephew

October 11, 2019

It's been 44 years since your passing and I've carried it with me all these years never forgetting our talks and the circumstances that surrounded that fatal day. God Bless you Brother Bill and thank you for your sacrifice.

Eddie Wirkowski
Retired Pgh. Police Off. and personel friend

March 22, 2015

RIP Brother. May you be with GOD and may GOD be with your family.

Det. Russ Cain
Pittsburgh PD

March 12, 2015

Patrolman Otis,
On today, the 44th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served in the USAR during the Vietnam War. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.


United States Border Patrol

March 3, 2015

A Hero in Heaven, always remembered and never forgotten.

Kim Weigand Mom of Sgt. Mike Weigand

March 3, 2015

"Billy" was my older cousin, by 2 years. He did like to tease me, more like an older brother. This picture is so serious, as it should be. A police officer, is a very serious job. I just miss his hishuge magical smile. At a time in his life, after getting married and becoming a father he was determined to make his wife and son proud of him. I worked in the Civil Service department for the City of Pittsburgh. He was calling me often, about each step up to the time he was actually hired. He was a fraction of an inch smaller than the requirements. He exercised and stretched for months. And he willed it to happen, he was over by a quarter inch by the time he was officially measured. He was such a determined person and would have risen through the ranks in no time. IF, he only had the chance¿

Doris Otis Warywoda

December 15, 2014

It's been43 years since Bills death. We were friends when we worked at the American Bridge Plant in Lawrenceville and continued our friendship on the Pgh. Police Dept.
I was working the same shift at the same station when he was shot.
I have never forgotten and think of him often.

Ed Wirkowski
Pgh. Police Patrolman retired

June 20, 2014

Your heroism and service is honored today, the forty-first anniversary of your death. Your memory lives and you continue to inspire. Thank you for your service. My cherished son Larry Lasater was a fellow police officer who was murdered in the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer.

Time never diminishes respect. Your memory will always be honored and revered.

I pray for solace for all those that love and remember you for I know both the pain and pride are forever. Your family is in my heart's embrace today. Thanks to your friends for sharing their memories and devotion to you through their reflections.

Rest In Peace.

Phyllis Loya
Mom of fallen California Officer Larry Lasater, Pittsburg PD, eow 4/24/05

April 10, 2012

Thanks for your 13 months of services, William.


March 3, 2012

My heart aches for all you missed in the life of your son. You are not forgotten.

When calamity comes, the wicked are brought down, but even in death the righteous have a refuge - Proverbs 14:32.

Constable Amanda Pandolfi #1249
York Regional Police, Ontario Canada

March 3, 2011

Not forgotten today. Thank you for you sacrifice


March 3, 2010

I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Pittsburgh. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

William J. Otis
July 3,1947-March 3,1971

Erich (Rocky) Geppert

October 27, 2009

Recent tradegy with the 3 valiant officers killed in the line of duty had me check this site for other fallen heroes. I worked with Billy at American Bridge in Lawrenceville just before he entered the department. I remember how he talked about his efforts to become an officer. He has a good friend and I will not forget him.
God Bless all members of the Pittsburgh Police Force.

Ron Kuc

April 6, 2009



March 3, 2008

"The Badge"

He starts his shift each day
To respond to calls unknown.
He drives a marked patrol car.
A police officer he is known.

He's paid by the citizens' taxes
To make it safe on the streets.
But he usually has a second job
'Cause a waitress has his salary beat.

Now he doesn't know a holiday
'Cause he works all year round.
And when Thanksgiving and Christmas finally arrive
At his home he cannot be found.

He's cursed and assaulted often,
The one whos blood runs blue.
He seldom ever gets a thanks,
To some he's just a fool.

His friends are always other cops
'Cause people just don't understand
That underneath his badge and gun,
He's just another man.

He knows there might not be a tomorrow
In this world of drugs and crime.
And he gets so mad at the court system
'Cause the crooks don't get any time.

And each day when he leaves for work,
He prays to God above.
Please bring me home after my shift
So I can see the ones I love.

But tonight he stops a speeding car,
He's alone down this ole' highway.
It's just a little traffic infraction.
He does it everyday.

Well, he walks up to the driver's window,
And his badge is shining bright.
He asked the guy for a driver's license,
When a shot rang through the night.

Yes, the bullet hit its mark,
Striking the officer in the chest.
But the Department's budget didn't buy
Each officer a bullet-proof vest.

So he lay on the ground bleeding.
His blood wasn't blue - His blood was red.
And briefly he thought of his loved ones
'Cause in a moment the officer was dead.

In the news they told the story
Of how this officer had died.
And some who listened cared less,
But those who loved him cried.

Well, they buried him in uniform
With his badge pinned on his chest.
He even had his revolver,
He died doing his best.

Written By:
David L. Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Department
Columbia, South Carolina
Used with Special Permission of the Author
Copyright © 1999 - All Rights Reserved
and may not be duplicated without permission

Investigator David L Bell
Richland County Sheriff's Dept., Columbia, SC

January 24, 2008

I grew up in Lawrenceville and was just about 11 or 12 at the time of your death, but I remember your parents and my parents were friends. Your death was a devastating blow and I remember your father never really getting over your death. You are gone, but not forgetten.

May 2, 2007

Patrolman Otis, thank you for your service. You have not been forgotten.

Michelle - wife of retired leo

July 20, 2006

Patrolman Otis,
On today, the 34th anniversary of your death, I would like to say thank you for your service to the citizens of Pittsburgh.


March 3, 2005

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