Washington DC Metropolitan Police History - Honor a Fallen Officer
The Metropolitan Police Department (MPD) has been serving the District of Columbia for more than 160 years. Until the creation of the MPD by President Abraham Lincoln, the city had only an auxiliary watch with one captain and 15 policemen. President Lincoln personally dispatched an emissary to New York City to become familiar with their system, which had been based on the world-acclaimed Metropolitan London PD. The knowledge gained from this study led to the creation of the MPD on August 6, 1861. Over the years, the MPD has grown in size, diversity and expertise. As the police force for the Nation’s Capital, it has protected the city, its citizens and visitors through many historic events and social changes. During that time, 124 officers have died in the line of duty. Honor these Fallen Officers by learning about their stories below.
Fallen Officers – 2000 – Present
Click on each MPDC officer below (minus symbol to the right of the name) to see newspaper accounts of the circumstances of their passing.
Articles include officers killed in the line of duty, some of them Medal of Valor recipients, and are largely from Washington Post newspaper articles. This information has been compiled to bring attention to our rich police history. The legacy of our officers’ heroism, sacrifice, professionalism and dedication should instill a sense of pride in all who wear the badge. We honor these outstanding individuals who will live on as long as they are remembered. It is our duty to remember.
The Board of Directors for the Metropolitan Washington, DC Police Memorial & Museum would like to express its gratitude to Dave Richardson MPD/Ret. for compiling this research.
John S. Ashley - 2004
End of Watch: May 30, 2004
Rank: Sergeant Badge No. S-044
Age: 37 Years of Service: 7 years
Location of Death: 1600 Block of 30th Street, NW
Duty Assignment: Second District
Clifton Rife II - 2004
End of Watch: June 2, 2004
Rank: Sergeant Badge No. S-39
Age: 34 Years of Service: 13 years
Location of Death: 5400 Block of Livingston Terrace, Oxon Hill, MD
Duty Assignment: Major Narcotics Branch
Joseph Pozell - 2005
End of Watch: May 17, 2005
Rank: Reserve Sergeant Badge No. R-579
Age: 59 Years of Service: 9 years
Location of Death: Wisconsin Avenue and M Street, NW
Duty Assignment: Second District Reserve Corps
Paul Dittamo - 2010
End of Watch: October 30, 2010
Rank: Officer Badge No. 4484
Age: 32 Years of Service: 1
Location of Death: 2400 block of Martin Luther King Ave., SE
Duty Assignment: Seventh District
James McBride - 2005
End of Watch: August 10, 2005
Rank: Officer Badge No. 4347
Age: 25 Years of Service: 2 years
Location of Death: Maurice T. Turner Jr Institute of Police Science
Duty Assignment: First District
Gerard W. Burke, Jr - 2006
End of Watch: March 23, 2006
Rank: Sergeant Badge No. S-192
Age: 39 Years of Service: 16 years
Location of Death: 2800 Block of 11th Street, NW
Duty Assignment: Third District
Wayne C. Pitt - 2007
End of Watch: April 10, 2007
Rank: Officer Badge No. 3759
Age: 57 Years of Service: 4 years
Location of Death: Mt. Pleasant and Lamont streets, NW
Duty Assignment: Third District
Mark R. Eckenrode - 2020
End of Watch: April 6, 2020
Rank: Sergeant Badge No. S-0618
Age:54 Years of Service: 23
Location of Death:
Duty Assignment: Court Liaison
Keith D. Williams, Sr - 2020
End of Watch: June 4, 2020
Rank: Senior Officer Badge No.3432
Age: 53 Years of Service: 31
Location of Death: Hospital Covid Death
Duty Assignment: Third District, School Safety Division
Rest easy, sleep well my brother. Know the blue line has held, your job is done.
Rest easy, sleep well. Others have taken up where you fell. The blue line has held.
Peace, peace and farewell….
— Author unknown.
(“blue” added to the original)
Honor Our Fallen Officers by Making a Donation to Our Memorial
Washington, DC Metropolitan Police Memorial & Museum gratefully appreciates and accepts donations in any amount. We are a 501(c)(3) organization operating under EIN 46-1976045; therefore your donations are tax deductible. Because we have no paid staff nearly 100% of your donation goes to help build the Memorial and Museum.