Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Atlantic City Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Thursday, October 1, 1970

Leave a Reflection

Reflections for Patrolman Peter John "Sonny" Burke

Rest in Peace my 1st cousin 1x removed.

Thomas Wolfgang Maguire

September 14, 2022

Rest in peace always knowing that your service and sacrifice will never be forgotten.

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

October 1, 2020

Rest in peace Patrolman Burke.

Rabbi Lewis S. Davis

September 2, 2019

Sonny & I become really the best of friends when I met him while living in Duck Town. We were 2 of the very few Irish kids in in the Italian neighborhood. We were poor but really did not know it. We had a rich life & had Sonny had a great sense of humor. Sonny was a very funny guy. We & our families were supposed to take a PBA trip t Italy & Sonny called me in the last week of Oct to tell me he had received his Passport so the plan was coming together. I received a phone from Don Shur ( AC Police) & little after Mid-night on Oct 1st to tell me Sonny was shot & killed in the line of duty. With all these years gone by we still miss Sonny so much. Being a Christian I know when we all get to Haven Sonny will be there with his great sense of humor & his his great smile. God Bless.


December 12, 2017

Palma I was 11 years old when this happened to Uncle Sonny and our family. 46 years later and it still seems like yesterday to all of us.
I am so sickened by all this recent bashing of police officers. The media is perpetuating this and I believe it is not going to stop until they stop.
I am proud of Uncle Sonny and am grateful to and pray for all officers that place their lives in danger every day.

Cheryl Nelson

September 30, 2016

I would like to thank everybody who left these beautiful words and thank you to my Uncle Sonny. After all these years I can still remember almost every min. of that night. As a ten year old I can say there has not been one day of my life since that I have not been affected by this. God bless you all.

Palma (Accardi) Ryckebusch

February 17, 2016

Sonny Burke was murdered while I was a freshman in high school. At that time, my father was a policer officer in another NJ town. I remember Sonny's death made me realize how dangerous it was for police officers. My father was very much affected by his death, as well. Although we were not related to Sonny, we shared the same last name of Burke and, coincidentally, we also had a police dog named Thor. I hope that Sonny's family knows that there are still people today who think about their loved one.

Nancy Eckler

August 21, 2015

To fully appreciate the heroes of the present, we must recognize our heroes of the past. Your heroism and service is honored today, the 43rd 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.

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

April 26, 2013

Thank you for your service and for helping to make America a safer place.

Deputy Brian Jones
Boulder County Sheriff's Office, CO

February 13, 2013

I was honored to attend Patrolman Burke's memorial service today. It has been 40 years since he paid the ultimate sacrifice. His courage is an inspiration to all of us who serve and we must never forget him.

Cpl. J.J. Picardi #38
Galloway Township Police, NJ

September 30, 2010

Officer John P Burke and my father were friends&partners, I have only one memory of John as a small child. He and his wife never had children. The night he was murdered (9-30-70) the call went out over the radio and identified my father as the fallen police officer, my mother was pregnant with my brother who was born less than 30 days later 10-20-70 my brother is named for John Peter Burke.

WR Hurley JR

February 19, 2009

You will never be forgotten, We will take it from here.
Rest in Peace Brother...

Patrolman "Charlie Platoon"

March 15, 2008

Thankyou OFFICER BURKE ffor your service and sacrifice. You are not forgotten


February 19, 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

December 11, 2007

Here we meet again, one year later. Rest in peace always my friend.

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

September 30, 2007

Today marks 36 years since you departed us so tragically but yet in such a heroic way. I visit the ODMP everyday to seek brave brother and sister officers such as yourself who gave their life in such a heroic way to let you know that you will never, ever be forgotten. Thank you for your service!

Cpl/1 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police

September 30, 2006

Rest in peace, sir! You are not forgotten.


December 17, 2005

I knew family members who suffered a terrible loss. I knew family members who were so kind, generous, and wonderful people. Now I know that you also were kind, generous, and a wonderful person. May God in his Wisdon render the proper justice due. And may he bless you and yours!

Capt. DC Bleistein
New Jersey Dept. of Corrections

December 3, 2005

Rest in peace my brother.

Police Officer
Burlington Township PD

October 12, 2004

On the anniversary of your death, I salute you for your service and honor you for your sacrifice.

A hero never dies....

Rest in peace, hero. God bless.

September 30, 2004

On behalf of the Connecticut Police Work Dog Association, I would like to express our deepest regards and sympathy to the family, friends and fellow officers of Officer John Burke. You gave the ultimate sacrifice. John, you may be gone, but you will NEVER be forgotten. Rest in peace blue angel and thank you for your service.

James A. Cortina

Connecticut Police Work Dog Association

February 12, 2004

I agree with a previous writer who wrote “No officer’s death should be without reflection.”
This is a very brave man. I hope that during the time of this incident, up until today, the members of the community which he served truly appreciated his commitment and sacrifice to their safety. Every coworker and family member can be most proud to know that Officer Burke's actions were a true testament of his character. I salute you for your bravery. May you rest in peace AC

Pennsylvania State Police

September 26, 2003

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