Motor Patrolman Harry E. Rose | Covington Police Department
Served: 3¼ years
July 16, 1935 to November 10, 1938
Harry was born on April 29, 1894 in Covington to Martin Luther Lena (Hunefeld) Rose. His mother died before he was six. He worked as a Brakeman for the C&O Railroad, where his father clerked, until he joined the Covington Fire Department.
On July 16, 1935 he transferred to the Police Department. Patrolman Rose was assigned to the Motorcycle Squad during October 1936. He was hailed as one of the most popular members of the Covington Police Department and singularly credited with being partially responsible for a reduction of auto accidents in Covington.
On November 9, 1938, Patrolman Rose, while on his police motorcycle, sat in the driveway of the Hotel Hahn at 1424 Dixie Highway. At 2 p.m., a speeder drove past him northbound on Dixie Highway. He looked down the highway and saw a southbound vehicle about 150 feet away in the curb lane and entered the highway in pursuit, crossing the first two lanes. Before he could get to the third lane, the vehicle, driven by J. F. Jarman (28) of Norwood, swerved to the left and crashed into Patrolman Rose and his motorcycle. His left leg was nearly severed above the ankle and his right leg was fractured below the hip. He also suffered a fractured skull and crushed chest. The motorcycle and auto were nearly demolished.
Patrolman Rose was taken to St. Elizabeth Hospital where he made a dying declaration in the presence of Covington City Solicitor Ralph P. Rich, City Recorder Walter Ritte, and Detective James Higgins.
Patrolman Rose died the next morning, November 10, 1938 at 4:55 a.m.
Patrolman Rose was survived by his wife, Norma (Dunhoff) Rose (43); son, Robert Rose; and mother, Lena Rose. Visitation was held at the John N. Middendorf Sons funeral home. A requiem high Mass was sung on Saturday, November 12, 1938 at 9 o’clock at St. Patrick Church at 4th and Philadelphia Streets.
Chief Schild designated Patrolmen Sam Landrum, Stanley Hughes, William Murphy, Robert Owens, William Telford, and Harry Cooper as pallbearers. A 17-man detail, led by Lieutenant Edward Beebe, escorted the cortege to the Covington city limits. He was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery at 2201 Dixie Highway in Fort Mitchell.
Chief Alfred F. Schild questioned Jarman whose account was essentially the same, though he asserted that the accident occurred in the second lane. Covington Motorcycle Patrolman Robert Spanton investigated the accident and determined that the collision occurred in the third lane. Jarman was charged with Assault and Battery.
When Patrolman Rose died, the charge against Jarman was upgraded to Manslaughter and a preliminary hearing was scheduled in Kenton County Court on November 18, 1938. Judge John B. Reed, on a motion of Mrs. Rose, dismissed the Manslaughter charge.
Having already lost her husband two years prior, and now her son, 22 days after Patrolman Rose’s death, on December 1, 1938, his mother died suddenly of a heart attack at 59 years old. Norma went to work as a seamstress and lived another 53 years without her husband, dying in 1993.
By 1938, almost every officer who has been a member of the Covington Police Motorcycle Squad had been injured or killed in accidents, including Lieutenant Harry Maines, said to be the best motorcycle driver. Several officers had been injured in two or three accidents. On November 11, 1938, Mayor H. A. Knollmann and some of the city commissioners were considering replacing the motorcycles with coupes. Chief Schild opined that coupes would not be as effective as motorcycles in traffic enforcement. We do not know the outcome of the motorcycle discussion in Covington, but the discussion was identical across the river in Cincinnati where motorcycle officers were also being injured and killed in accidents.
If you have information, artifacts, archives, or images of this officer and/or the incident, please contact the Greater Cincinnati Police Museum at Memorial@Police-Musuem.org.
© This narrative was revised October 20, 2018, by Cincinnati Police Lieutenant Stephen R. Kramer (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society Vice President, based largely on research and information provided by Cincinnati Homicide Detective Edward Zieverink (Retired), Greater Cincinnati Police Museum Historian. All rights are reserved to them and the Greater Cincinnati Police Historical Society.