The DEA Honor Roll
Official Line of Duty Deaths
Harold A. Jacob
Shield Number: 180
Command: Safe, Loft and Truck Squad
Date of Death: 01/18/1967
Cause of Death: Heart Attack
On the afternoon of January 18, 1967, at about 1:40 p.m., Det. Jacob and three partners were on patrol in the garment district of midtown Manhattan when they heard gunfire coming from a building at 235 West 35th Street. A merchant had been shot by a gunman inside, and the perp fled to the sidewalk with the stolen payroll money.
According to the Honor Legion, Jacob, with gun in hand, was the first to call on the perp to surrender. Instead, the robber fired four shots at the Officers, but all missed their marks.
Returning fire, Jacob and his partners fatally wounded the gunman. “Harry” Jacob jumped over the perp’s body and ran inside the building to check for an accomplice and check on the victim. But, as he knelt alongside the body of the wounded merchant, Harry was stricken with a heart attack and collapsed to the ground. His seizure proved to be fatal.
Det. Jacob was born in the “Hell’s Kitchen” area of midtown Manhattan in 1908. “Harry” attended St. Ambrose High School before being appointed to the NYPD on November 1, 1933. A year earlier, he married, and the Jacobs had six children over their 35 years of marriage.
After his Police Academy training, Jacob was assigned to Manhattan’s 17th Precinct, where he remained for 13 years. In 1945, while arresting three hotel burglars who committed dozens of thefts in midtown, he was assaulted by the trio and required hospitalization. He was promoted to Detective and assigned to the Safe and Loft Squad. According to a vintage NYPD Honor Legion biography, produced in the 1980s to honor Medal of Valor winners, in 1952, while on patrol in the garment district, Jacob and his partner witnessed the stick-up of two payroll messengers. In an exchange of gunfire, one crook was wounded and subsequently identified in other area hold-ups. In 1954, Det. Jacob was promoted to Detective first grade. He was assigned to the garment district of midtown Manhattan for 21 years. Over the course of his career, Harry was afforded the opportunity to be assigned to other posts, but refused to leave “the street” and the area where he was born and obviously loved.
In his 34 years of service to the NYPD, Harry Jacob was cited over 40 times for heroic acts.
On June 10, 1968, at the NYPD’s annual Medal Day ceremony, Det. Jacob was posthumously presented the NYPD’s highest award, the Medal of Honor. Mayor John Lindsay presented the medal to his widow, Dorothy.