Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Sergeant Dennis Warren Finch

Traverse City Police Department, Michigan

End of Watch Wednesday, May 13, 1998

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Sergeant Dennis Warren Finch

Sgt. Finch,
I'm an LEO and was listening to Coast to Coast Radio last night and heard your friend talk about you. I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrfice for the citizens of Traverse City. And to your family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.



October 10, 2009

Not so much a reflection. I have the distinct privelage to record the book "The Spirit of The Badge" by Ingrid P. Dean.

I just finished recording Denny's story. After editing for quality and adding music and sound effects I played the recording back for final review. Needless to say....when I came to the end of the story I was sobbing....My heart goes out to the Finch family.

I read the comment left by his daughter and can take comfort in the fact that she loved her father very much...and understood the risks associated with his line of work.

My final final PRAYER is that all law enforecment officials near and far are protected by the loving arms of Jesus Christ...and may they truly realize how much we love them when they are here with us ..and how much we miss them when they are gone.

With deepest and fomdest respect and sympathies to the Finch family.

R.I.P Denny!


Tom Chalker
kalamazoo Michigan

Tom Chalker
Recording Artist

August 29, 2009

Dennis, I was only about 12 years old when you passed but my memory of it is still as clear as that day. I used to always hear stories of you from my dad about how he would tease you for your height, even though you were only a inch or two shorter than himself; but this is how my dad has always shown his affection for those he cares about. My dad likes to pretend like life went on like it had before the tragedy of that day, but the truth is, my dad never recovered from that day and is constantly fighting a battle with his memories, which always seem to tug at his future. A part of him died that day with you, and we hope one day he will find whatever it is that makes him whole again. The point of this is just to let you know that you will never be forgotten, Dennis, and I only wish I had gotten to create more of my own memories of you; but the ones my dad passed on to me will never be forgotten, and you will always have a place with me.

Much Love

Darren Mooney
Son of retired TC Police Officer Sgt. Mooney

June 14, 2009

Your heroism and service is honored today as we approach the 11th 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 the line of duty on April 24, 2005 while serving as a Pittsburg, CA police officer. He was shot twice when ambushed on April 23rd when he was on a foot pursuit of two bank robbers, 7 years after you were killed.

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

I hold your family in thought and prayer today.

Phyllis Loya
mother of fallen officer Larry Lasater

May 13, 2009

Dennis not a day goes by without thinking about you and what happened. I wish that I would have been there sooner and tried to help you out. I feel that I let you down. It is not fair that you died this way. When I get feeling really down about it, I think back to the Euchre games and that helps some. You are missed, as a person and fellow officer.

Lieutenant (ret) current patrolman
Grand Traverse County Sheriff/Caro Pd

October 21, 2008



May 13, 2008

Dennis, As promised, I have thought of you and offered up my prayers for you and your family every year on this date, May 13, the day my son was born in Traverse City, and the day you were called home. Thank you for your sacrifice, which has not been forgotten. A beautiful tribute to you in today's Traverse City Record-Eagle. May you rest in heavenly peace, and may your family know you have not been forgotten, even now, ten years later. God bless you all.


May 12, 2008

They say that some of us receive a sign before we are going to die, or know we may pass soon. I felt a horrible feeling that my son was going to pass but I thought if I told him he would think I was crazy. Then I find out he may have also had the feeling right before he died. He died doing what he loved, being a Chicago Police Officer, a life long dream. I'm sure Sgt Finch died doing what he loved doing, being a cop. I hope he continues to watch over that large family, especially those grand kids and guide them through life. Sgt Finch is a true hero and Heroes never die. You will always be remembered.

Bob Gordon
Father of Chicago Officer: Michael P. Gordon, EOW: 8/8/04

January 22, 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

November 26, 2007

I knew this man when I still lived in T.C. He was a great and wonderful man. Well liked by us and other people who knew him. I am sorry to hear that we lost him.
Leann McIntyre (Van Zile)

Leann Van Zile

June 5, 2007

Thank you Sergeant Finch for your dedication, service, and ultimate sacrafice to others and to your community. My condolences to the the family and friends of Sergeant Finch and to the entire Traverse City PD. Rest In Peace.

Ofc. Eric Chiang
San Francisco Police Department - Bayview District

July 10, 2006

So many years have passed now. My dad now has five grandchildren. Not a day goes by that I do not think of him. I hear about many people that are still suffering and hurting. My dad would have never wanted this. Although we miss him horribly, no one can change the series of events that day. For those of you that feel guilt and are still in pain, I would like you to know how I have moved on in peace. Shortly after he died we received his autopsy report. I showed that he had severe blockage in both of his arteries (80%-90%). The doctors were certain that he would have soon died of a heart attack and had possibly already had one or more. He was a heavy smoker and I believe this to be true. It was not unusual for me to find my dad holding his chest and staring into the distance. Just days before he died I was with him. Something was very different about him that day. He seemed to be hurting and was very quiet. When I said good-bye to him, he told me he that he loved me very much and didn't want to let go of our hug. This had never happened. I cried on the ride home knowing there was something uneasy about that day. He loved his profession and had no interest in retiring. I feel peace in knowing that he died while protecting the community and not from a heart attack alone in his polebarn. I feel peace in knowing that the way he died resulted in so many tributes that now, he will never be forgotten. I never think of John Clark. I do not live with hate. My dad lived a full life and I will honor him by telling his grandchildren what a hero he was. And whether he had been shot that day or not, I knew that he would have never lived to be an old man and play with his grandkids. He loved to watch westerns and told us that going out with a bang was the way to go and that we should bury him in a pine box in the backyard someday. Believe me, remembering him saying this played through my mind over and over during his funeral. Everything happens for a reason. I love you Dad. June 28, 2006

Rachelle Radtke

June 28, 2006

I pass by your grave everyday on my way to work, and everyday I remember you and say a prayer for you and Aggie. It has been a few years but you are still in the hearts of so many people. I will remember you this week and always. You have left such an impact on so many people, and I believe that you will continue to do so


May 13, 2006


I didn't know you, but your memory lives on every day with our department. Rest in peace and God bless.

Reserve Officer Hawkins

April 10, 2006

God Bless You

RET. Deputy Ryan Lougheed
Grand Traverse Sheriff Dept.

March 16, 2005

Thinking of you, Sergeant. Not a single day has gone by since that tragic day that I haven't thought of you. God bless, and rest peacefully.

Up North Mich

January 10, 2005

You will never be forgotten in my thoughts FINCHY. I will forever have all the memories that we share of the night shift and the many life lessons that you taught me while we were there. You will always be with me brother. Rest Easy my friend. TA

January 9, 2005

May God Bless you and your family. I will never forget you or your service. Thank you. Rest easy brother

Brother LEO

December 22, 2004

This post is to Vivian, Dennis' mother. I was pregnant and on my way to Munson to have my son the day yours was taken away from you. When I came out of surgery I saw all of the police and commotion outside and the nurse told me Dennis did not make it. I promise you, every year on my son's birthday, I will say a prayer for Dennis. And if you tell me how to make apple dumplings, I will begin a new tradition and make them for my son, in memory of yours! Peace to you and your family. Remembering Dennis Finch, EOW 05-13-1998.

Remembering Dennis
Michigan Resident

July 8, 2004


Each day I try to read the ODMP. Today I read your story. Any officer who dies in the line of duty will always be remembered for his sacrifice. You died a hero. Rest in peace Sgt. Finch.

Captain Robert W Cannon, Ret.
Vermilion Co, Il. Sheriff's Dept.

June 14, 2004

My son, It has been over 6 years since you left us but the pain is just as prominent as it was then. We miss you so much but I know you are in a happier place now. We remember all the good times and let our hearts soar at the thought of them. I can't bake an apple dumpling without remembering the apples you used to bring so I could make you one of them and I still have the nutmeg you bought to make the special milk with.
With tender love Mother

Vivian (Finch) Hagman

May 19, 2004

Dennis and I were Narcotics Officers together in 1987-1988. Dennis was a great officer and a great friend. I think of him often and his family remains in my thoughts and prayers. You are never forgotten, my fallen brothers and sisters, but always remembered and sorely missed!

Vencent Woods D/Sergeant
State of Michigan-Department of Environmental Quality

April 9, 2004

When God made Police Officers..........

When the Lord was creating police officers, he was into his sixth day of overtime when an angel appeared and said, "You're doing a lot of fiddling on this one."

And the Lord said, "Have you read the spec on this order?"

"A police officer has to be able to run five miles through alleys in the dark, scale walls, enter homes the health inspector wouldn't touch, and not wrinkle is uniform."

"He has to be able to sit in an undercover car all day on a stakeout, cover a homicide scene that night, canvass the neighborhood for witness, and testify in court the next day."

"He has to be in top physical condition at all times, running on black coffee and half-eaten meals. And he has to have six pairs of hands."

The angel shook her head slowly and said, "Six pairs of way."

"It's not the hands that are causing me problems," said the Lord, "it's the three pairs of eyes an officer has to have."

"That's on the standard model?" asked the angel.

The Lord nodded. One pair that sees through a bulge in a pocket before he asks, "May I see what's in there, sir?" (When he already knows and wishes he'd taken that accounting job.) Another pair in the side of his head for his partners' safety. And another pair of eyes here in front that can look reassuringly at a bleeding victim and say, "You'll be all right ma'am, when he knows it isn't so."

"Lord," said the angel, touching his sleeve, "rest and work on this tomorrow."

"I can't" said the Lord, "I already have a model that can talk a 250 pound drunk into a patrol car without incident and feed a family of five on a civil service paycheck."

The angel circled the model of the police officer very slowly, "Can it think?" she asked.

"You bet," said the Lord. "It can tell you the elements of a hundred crimes; recite Miranda warnings in it's sleep; detain, investigate, search, and arrest a gang member on the street in less time it takes five learned judges to debate the legality of the stop...and still keeps its sense of humor."

"This officer also has phenomenal personal control. He can deal with crime scenes painted in hell, coax a confession from a child abuser, comfort a murder victim's family, and then read in the daily paper how law enforcement isn't sensative to the rights of criminal suspects."

Finally, the angel bent over and ran her finger across the cheek of the police officer. "There's a leak," she pronounced. "I told you that you were trying to put too much into this model."

"That's not a leak," said the Lord, "it's a tear."

"What's the tear for?" asked the angel.

"It's for bottled-up emotions, for fallen comrades, for commitment to that funny piece of cloth called the American flag, for justice."

"You're a genius," said the angel.

The Lord looked somber. "I didn't put it there," he said.

Our prayers and thoughts go out to the Finch family.

Lt. Matthew Morton
GTB Tribal Police Department

You are not forgotten, you are always in our memory. Thank you for watching down on our department and keeping us safe. We will always remember you.


Rest in peace Sgt..

Inv. Michael Walker
Tallahassee Police Department

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