Family, Friends & Fellow Officers Remember...

Patrolman Joseph P. Burke

New York City Police Department, New York

End of Watch Saturday, June 18, 1932

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Reflections for Patrolman Joseph P. Burke

Kieran Burke, a retired NYPD detective and son of a slain cop, has died, relatives said Thursday. He was 94.

Posted on New York Daily News Mar 26, 2020

Burke died from the flu on March 15, his son Michael Burke told the Daily News.

Burke was born in Manhattan in 1926 and grew up in the South Bronx and Rockaway Beach.

When he was just 6, his father, Patrolman Joseph Burke, was fatally shot trying to apprehend a robbery suspect while assigned to the 32nd Precinct in Harlem.

The 34-year-old cop and World War I veteran was guarding the door at a robbery in progress on Seventh Ave. when he was shot by a fleeing suspect. The man who shot him was ultimately arrested, convicted of first-degree murder and executed in 1934, according to the Officer Down Memorial Page, a website dedicated to fallen officers.

Kieran Burke eventually followed in his slain dad’s footsteps by becoming a cop.

“He was the strong, silent type,” Michael Burke said of his dad. “He was pretty much the man of the house after his father died, so he had to take care of his mother and his two little brothers.”

The quiet cop never brought his work home with him, “unless it was humorous,” the proud son said.

“I asked him once if there was a television show that best described what it was like being a cop,” Michael Burke remembered. “He said ‘Barney Miller.’”

Kieran Burke graduated from St. Ann’s Academy and served in the Navy in World War II before joining the NYPD in 1948, where he spent most of his career in the 44th Precinct near Yankee Stadium.

He took a break from investigating crime in the early 1950s when he re-enlisted in the Navy to fight in the Korean War.

In 1961, Burke was assigned to Yankee Stadium to watch over right-fielder Roger Maris, who was getting death threats as he threatened to break Babe Ruth’s home run record, his son remembered.

Ten years later, Burke and three other detectives received the Medal of Honor for rounding up 10 suspects in a Harlem drug sweep that ended in a fierce firefight between dealers and cops.

The suspects, who were linked to notorious Harlem drug lord Nicky Barnes, fired more than 60 shots before they were rounded up and arrested in the St. Nicholas Ave. apartment — in the same neighborhood where his father died 37 years earlier.

“It was the only time he fired his gun,” his son said.

The decorated detective married his wife Veronica in 1952 and raised four children in Pearl River, N.Y., before retiring to Florida.

When his wife died in 2014, Burke moved to an assisted living facility in Greenwich, Conn. He’s survived by his children Michael, Ann Marie, Kieran and Veronica, eight grandchildren and three great-grandchildren.

A cremation has been performed and a service will be held at Leo P. Gallagher & Son Funeral Home in Greenwich once the coronavirus crisis passes, Burke’s son said.

Retired Police Officer
NYPD

March 26, 2020

Patrolman Burke,
May your sacrifice never be forgotten.
Always a hero, your family lives on and is forever proud of you.
Rest in Peace.

Inspector (Ret.) Keith M. Spadaro
NYPD

February 27, 2016

Time may have passed but you are not forgotten. I believe as long as someone remembers you or speaks your name, you are still with us.
Thank you for your heroism.
GOD Bless

Detention Officer A.Zambito
Texas

June 18, 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 80th anniversary year 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. Rest In Peace

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

November 25, 2012

I said a little prayer today for Patrolman Burke and his family. He may be gone but never forgotten. He will always be a New York HERO.

Robyn Wilkes

June 17, 2009

Patrolman Burke,
On today, the 75th anniversary of your murder, I would like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice for the citizens of New York City. It took another two years, but your murderer finally got the justice that he deserved.

R.I.P.
Anonymous

Anonymous

June 18, 2007

Thank you PO Burke for your service and courage. You will never be forgotten and continue to look over us down here while we continue on.

Officer J. Leary
USPP

May 1, 2007

Rest in peace, Sir! You are not forgotten.

Police Officer

May 16, 2006

+As a promise to your NYCPD Sergeant son, Kieran, I had often looked after your photo proudly displayed with the other officer heros of the 32 Precinct, when I served there. You will not be forgotten.

Capt. (Ret.) Daniel McKenna
NYCPD

July 3, 2005

MY BROTHER, MAY GOD BLESS YOU AND MAY YOU REST IN PEACE. A HERO FOR SURE. YOU SERVED WELL.

CHIEF RONNIE WATFORD-RET.
JEFFERSON POLICE DEPT,S.C.

June 18, 2004

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