Memorial to Adolphus C. Constantine


fallen-badge_blackbandEnd of Watch: September 10, 1891
Rank: Officer    Badge No. 41
Age: 38    Years of Service: 6 years, 8 months
Location of Death: Potomac River
Duty Assignment: River Patrol Force (Harbor Patrol)

Circumstance:

While detailed to the Police Patrol Boat, Officer Constantine lost his balance and fell overboard while on duty. His body sank to the bottom of the river. The patrol boat had been detailed to pull a barge owned by Senator John Kenna, of West Virginia, to a point near Indian Head, Maryland. The boat was returning to the District of Columbia when Officer Constantine fell overboard near Stump Neck, Maryland, at approximately 8:00 pm. He was reported to be an excellent swimmer. His body was not recovered for several days.

 

Biography:

Officer Constantine had served with the Metropolitan Police Department for almost seven years. He was survived by his wife and two children.

 

Articles from the Washington Post Transcribed by Dave Richardson, MPD/Ret.

OFFICER CONSTANTINE FELL OFF HIS BOAT.

WASHINGTON POST ARTICLE DATED SEPTEMBER 12, 1891, PAGE 2.

DROWNED AT INDIAN HEAD

Officer Constantine Falls Overboard from the Police Patrol Boat
Officer Adolphus C. Constantine, who has been connected with the police patrol boat for more than two years, was drowned Thursday night near Indian Head.

By permission of the Commissioners the Joe Blackburn had gone down the river to tow a barge belonging to Senator Kenna, of Virginia, who, with a party of friends, wished to go down near Indian Head on a fishing expedition.

The boat left the wharf at 3 o’clock Thursday afternoon and made the trip to Indian Head in safety, reaching there a little before dark. Senator Kenna furnished the crew of the Joe Blackburn an excellent supper, and then arrangements were made for the return trip.

When near Stumps Neck Harbor Master Sutton asked Mr. Constantine to go forward and get him a life preserver as a rest for his head. As he passed around the deck Constantine stumped his toe against a cleat and fell overboard. Officers Lewis and Ferguson were standing near him when he fell, but their efforts to rescue him proved fruitless. After he went over he sank and did not rise again, or if he did it was so dark that no one could see him. It is believed that his head was struck by the propeller.

The boat was stopped at once and the lifeboat was thrown out, but no trace of the faithful officer could be found. The water was about twenty-four feet deep, and the drags were at once put in use, while the boat went back to Indian Head and reported the accident. The search for the body was continued all night and yesterday but last night the men lost hope of finding the body then, and ceased work until to-day, when it will be resumed.

Mr. Constantine was one of the best men in the department, and his connection with the police boat stamped him as a brave and daring officer—always ready for duty. In the boat he took a great interest and was always planning to add to its efficiency. His home was on E street, near the Fourth precinct station, where a widow and two children survive him. The men connected with the police boat were greatly attached to Officer Constantine, and feel his loss keenly.