Substitute Patrolman Henry Roese | Cincinnati Police Department

Age: 30
Served: 3 months
May 14 to July 16, 1890


On May 21, 1890, one week after he took the oath of office Substitute Patrolman Roese stepped off a street car at 214 Bordon Street and his revolver came out of his breast pocket, where they were customarily carried in that era. The revolver fell to the ground and struck on it’s hammer discharging a round into Patrolman Roese.

He died 2¾ months later on July 16, 1890, from the injuries he sustained.

He was buried in Spring Grove Cemetery on July 18, 1890, at 3:30 p.m.

Note: Policemen were not permitted to carry revolvers in most agencies until the late 1880s. Naturally, a number of these were dropped and physics dictated that they fall toward the heavier end. Sometimes, they dropped directly on the hammer with the barrel pointed up. This circumstance caused four officers’ deaths. In the first decade of the 20th Century, the hammer block safety was invented and no more officers died from accidentally dropped revolvers.

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This narrative was revised on April 17, 2011 by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society President. All rights are reserved to him and the greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.