Official Line of Duty Deaths
Special thanks to retired Sergeant Mike Bosak and the late Det. John Reilly for their research on early “Line of Duty” deaths and NYPD Departmental history.
George Washington Walling (1858) was the first Chief of Detectives of the Metropolitan Police force. Officially, the “Detective Force” turned out of 25th Precinct, which, at that time, was in the downtown area of Manhattan.
In April of 1870, James Jameson became the first Chief of Detectives of the New York Police Department. In 1882, Captain Thomas Byrnes established the Detective Bureau, centralizing the function out of Police Headquarters.
The first Detective “line of duty” death may have been George W. Trenchard, who was killed off-duty on June 2, 1853 while fighting a fire; but he was referred to as a “shadow,” a designation conceptually similar to that of a Detective, but one that predated the use of the term in the New York City police force.
Therefore, the DEA’s Honor Roll begins after the New York Police Department began referring to police investigators as “Detectives.”
If you know the whereabouts of family members of Detectives killed in the line of duty, or if you have stories, articles, or recollections to contribute about NYPD Detectives who made the ultimate sacrifice, please notify the DEA at firstname.lastname@example.org
The DEA Honor Roll represents official Line of Duty deaths determined by the New York City Police Department and the New York City Police Pension Fund. Prior to 9/11/2001, line of duty deaths had to occur when the member of the service was an active member in the employ of the City of New York. After 9/11 and after the passage(s) of the WTC Death and Disability bills in the State of New York, changes were made in the line of duty designation to accommodate those members of the service whose deaths were tied to illnesses they contracted as a result of their work on the rescue and recovery of the World Trade Center attacks, and in many cases those deaths occurred after retirement.
For the New York Police Department’s (NYPD) Memorials, which include all ranks of Line of Duty deaths, United States Armed Forces deaths, a 9/11 Tribute, and Non-Line of Duty “In Service” deaths, click here for the NYPD Website.
The following are members of the DEA who made the ultimate sacrifice (listed in alphabetical order):
On Friday, June 25, 1976, off-duty New York City Transit Detective George Caccavale was shot in the chest, thigh, and legs during a robbery of the Van Dam Check Cashing Corporation in Long Island City. Det. Caccavale was working this second job at the facility to support his wife and young child. The hold-up had been planned for weeks and the three robber/killers — Richard Payton, Percy Moore, and Claude Holland — knew Caccavale was a Police Officer from the placard he kept in his car window. That knowledge did not deter them from stealing tens of thousands of dollars while gunning down Det. Caccavale in cold blood. On Saturday, June 26, 1976, Det. Caccavale died at Greenpoint Hospital. He was 33 years old and survived by his wife and two young children.
Caccavale was a devoted husband, a loving father, and for eleven years an able young Transit Officer serving not only those he cherished, but the entire population of New York. The perps, who first met in Stateville Penitentiary in Illinois while serving time for previous crimes, fled to other cities with clothing, cash, and transportation provided by Claude Holland, but were eventually caught and convicted of second degree murder.
It should be noted that, according to his late co-hort Richard Payton, Holland also participated in a home invasion and robbery in Short Hills, NJ, the robbery of a liquor store in Brooklyn, and the robbery/murder of a couple in Chicago.
Richard Payton died in 2007. Percy Moore died in 2009. Holland is still incarcerated.