Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Police Officer William T. Birch

Fort Lee Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Sunday, September 4, 1966

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Police Officer William T. Birch

Was just walking by the Fort Lee PD with my family and saw your dedication plaque and wanted to find out what happened

Thank you for protecting this community

Slava
Fort Lee resident

March 20, 2021

Miss you today and everyday. People say it gets easier with time but I disagree. It just is not as painful. I am doing well and have made the most of my life and today you have been on my mind, because even in 2020 you had to make an appearance . I am finally able to say thanks for all the gifts you gave me. My two sisters who are not only my best friends but soul sisters. You would be so proud of how we turned out in spite of all the crap that came our way. You can rest now and hang with your parents. We are ok.
All gave some, some gave all!!!! You made the world a safer place for your brothers in blue and for that I am proud. Love you infinity Dad.

Kathleen Birch Gomez
Daughter

October 7, 2020

Rest in peace always and please know that your service and sacrifice will never, ever be forgotten by your fellow law enforcement.

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

September 4, 2020

Fifty years ago tonight, PO William T. Birch reported for his final late tour on behalf of the Fort Lee Police Department and the citizens of the Borough of Fort Lee. On the 50th anniversary of his passing, as we spend precious time with our loved ones during this holiday weekend, we should all remember the sacrifice which Billy Birch made and honor his eternal memory. As a ten-year old kid from Washington Heights, NY, I was actually in Fort Lee on the day of his funeral, visiting my aunt, and saw the procession. Little did I know, almost 12 years later I'd be serving as a police officer in the very same Department; and a great honor it was to have done so for nearly 6 years. God bless. Former FLPD PO Lee Aivazis

Special Agent in Charge Lee Aivazis
US Secret Service (Ret.)

September 3, 2016

My mother is Therese Birch Lafond, brother of Billy Birch. Her life was forever altered by his death. The sadness and lonliness is still so evident, even after all of this time. She loved him so much and was so proud of him. She has always siad that when he died she not only lost a "best" friend, but lost the ability to share all of her childhood memories, and those baseball games that they loved so much! Between her and my Grandparents, we must have heard hundreds of stories of Billy and Teesie when they were young. Billy Birch has been etched in our hearts and minds and we never even met him!

Gabrielle Whalen
niece

November 15, 2015

49 years ago today. Rest in peace Brother.

P.O. (Ret.) S. Pumilia III
Fort Lee P.D.

September 4, 2015

RIP

Detective Dennis Pothos
Fort Lee, NJ Police Department

May 29, 2015

It's odd to think that I feel such a connection to a person I have never met. Since the day I was born you have stayed alive through the people that love and respect you and from that, I know you would have been the best grandpa around. You had such a short life, but you have lived for so much longer, affecting and inspiring so many people with your act of heroism. You have played an active role in the lives of all of your 21 grandchildren including mine and will forever be our hero. We love you and wish you could be with us here today. RIP fly high gpa Birch.

Grace Latorre
Grand-Daughter

September 4, 2014

To: Chris Smith
Please contact my mother, daughter of William T. Birch, @ [email protected] regarding the dog tag. We would love to hear from you! Thank you for reaching out to us!

Grace Latorre
Grand-Daughter

January 31, 2014

To: Chris Sims
My mother is Kelly Birch; daughter of William T. Birch. Please contact her @ [email protected] about the dog tag. Thank you so much for reaching out to us.

Grace Latorre
Grand-daughter

January 31, 2014

Looking for a relative of Officer Birch. I am an "antique picker" and recently found a OLD dog tag, a real dog tag, not military. It has the name of "Billy Birch" on it. The address 534 Walnut St. Fort Lee, Nj. While looking up that name I came upon this Obituary article about the shooting of William Birch. I have a feeling this is his dog tag from when he was a boy possibly. I would feel good if someone from his family would have it. He is a hero in my opinion. My name is Chris and I can be reached at

Chris Sims
Friend

October 25, 2013

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 47th anniversary year of your death. I am priviliged to leave a tribute to you. 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. Rest In Peace.

I am so thankful your killer was returned to prison after violating parole and glad he died there never seeing the world again as a free man..

Phyllis Lasater Loya
mom of fallen Pittsburg (CA) officer Larry Lasater

April 28, 2013

Thinking of you today, thankyou for your service. You are a hero who will never be forgotten. God bless your family

POLICE OFFICER
PHILA PA

December 27, 2010

I have walked past the lovely memorial to Officer Birch many times without stopping to actually see who it honored. I am, with others, grateful that there are people who unselfishly serve their communities and saddened that so many sacrifices are made in connection with that service. The memorial is beautiful and actually a fitting tribute to all.

Anonymous

July 14, 2009

THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE, REST IN PEACE.

N.J. TROOPER
NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE

March 1, 2008

I would personally like to thank everyone involved in James Belton's being returned to prison for violating his parole. Steve Hervey of the Fort Lee Police informed me that Belton was returned to prison on 9/01/06. He subsequently died in prison 5/15/07 serving out his sentence for murdering my father.
Although nothing can ever bring back my father's life, there is comfort in knowing that this man cannot hurt my family anymore with either his actions or words. This man escaped a harsh punishment and received mercy. Not ony did he remain unrepentent, but even recently bragged about murdering my father.
Thank you all who worked and fought to bring James Belton to justice. THANK YOU!

Judith Birch Brennan
daughter

June 23, 2007

"When good men die, their goodness does not perish but lives, though they are gone. As for the bad, all that was theirs dies and is buried with them."(Euripides)

I am so grateful for everyone's comments and memories.

Judith Birch Brennan
daughter

March 30, 2007

I was 11 years old when you were shot. I remember what a terrible day it was for Fort Lee. My family was very upset upon learning of your death.

My brother, two sisters and I stood outside of Shop Rite for a few days after school and collected money for your family. I remember the shoppers were all very generous and almost everyone gave us something. We collected around $400 which was a lot of money in 1966. We met the police chief and gave him the money for your wife and children.

You have not been forgotten, even after 40 years.

Karen Ellis
former resident

December 29, 2006

Thank you for not forgetting.......

Kelly
daughter

October 12, 2006

Dear Bill:
After 40 years, I am certain that the sorrow, loss, and pain of your family and in particular, your daughters, still lingers. Things have not changed much since you made the ultimate sacrifice. Brother officers are dying everyday, it seems, with little outcry from the public.
I have worn the badge and gun for 27 years, and only recently have I been involved in a gun battle. Grateful as I am for Divine Intervention, I still reflect on why you, and so many other fellow brother officers have had to die.
You answered the cry of the wolf at the door, and you gave all. In doing that, you were simply doing what we all take an oath to do...defend those you cannot defend themselves. You did your job well, brother, trying to protect the very ideals of our Founding Fathers, 230 years ago. That our people shall live free, and be free from fear, and to pursue their dreams and happiness. For that, Bill, your are one of America's heroes. And you shall NEVER be forgotten. May God walk with you while you patrol the streets of Heaven, and forever bless your family. Amen

Detective Ron Tomassi
Palm Beach Sheriff's Office-Florida

October 11, 2006

For years I have visited this site and have tried to think of things to write, but have never seemed to find the right words. So I will simply say, 40 years have past since your senseless death and you are not forgotten, nor will you ever be. Although I was not born when you lived your life and never had the honor of knowing you, I take great pride in following in your footsteps. Every day I walk into work, I look at your picture and I take great comfort in the fact I know you are looking after your brothers in blue, and I hope you take great comfort in the fact that you are thought of every day and always will be.

PO Patrick Kellett
Fort Lee PD

October 10, 2006

Officer Lee,
On today, the 40th anniversary of your murder, I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of Fort Lee. It sickens me to think that your murderer only served 16 years in prison.


R.I.P.
Anonymous

Anonymous

September 4, 2006

It will be 40 years since your tour of duty ended, you have not been forgotten by those that love you nor will the Blue Family ever let you be forgotten. Your family has suffered 40 years and still has to put up with our criminal justice systems blindness. I always thought Life Was Life. Who cares if he's in a wheel chair, let him spend the rest of his life in prison, the scooter will work in there just as it does on the outside. The ultimate crime in society is killing a police officer because if an individual is willing to kill a policeman, what about the ordinary citizen. In the case of my son, my family was lucky, the individual that killed him was also killed so we did not have to endure the many years of trials and parole board hearings etc. To the Birch Family, my thoughts are with you on Sept. 4th, even though it has been 40 years I know the pain is still there and always will be for as long as you walk this earth. Keep Bill's memory alive by never being afraid to talk about him with others. If some of his co workers, who are probably all retired by now, are still around, get stories from them. You all take care and remember, your Dad is a true hero and heroes never die.

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

Bob Gordon, Chicago Gold Star Father

September 2, 2006

In September it will be 40 years since your death. I was always told it would be easier as time passes but that's wrong. I never really got the chance to know you, so I can only go by what people tell me. You would have been so happy with all of your 21 grandchildren. I love you and miss you more with each passing day.
kathleen

P.S. To all who have tried to help right the wrong(evil) I thank you from the bottom of my heart.


daughter

August 27, 2006

I will never forget that night Billy, I think about you often, your brother in blue.

Lt Joe Broking
Cliffside Park Police

August 8, 2006

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.