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End of Watch:Chicago Police Killed in the Line of Duty, 1853-2006
Edward M. Burke and Thomas J. O'Gorman  More Info

Edward Burke, attorney and long-time Chicago alderman, is co-author of End of Watch, a history of Chicago police officers killed in the line of duty.  In 1968, at the age of 25, Edward Burke took leave from the Chicago Police Department to replace his deceased father as the Democratic Committeeman in the 14th District.  In 1969, Edward Burke was elected to the 14th Ward Alderman’s Seat in Chicago. 


According to the Fraternal Order of Police, Chicago Lodge 7, “ End of Watch: Chicago Police Killed in the Line of Duty 1853-2006  by Edward M. Burke and  Thomas J. O’Gorman examines the remarkable sacrifice of 526 sworn officers of the Chicago Police Department. Throughout the book’s 300+ pages and more than 600 photographs, there are detailed narratives of each officer and the circumstances involved in their deaths. The book traces the heroic history of Chicago’s finest with accounts of each episode drawn from municipal records, police files, contemporaneous newspapers, court documents and ground breaking research.”

On reader of End of Watch: Chicago Police Killed in the Line of Duty 1853-2006  said it “offers a respectful and sometimes heartrending case-by-case examination of the 534 Chicago police officers who made the ultimate sacrifice for the sake of public order and safety. This is no mere encyclopedia: the authors give us a detailed narrative of each fallen officer's career and accomplishments, making the book as much a celebration of their lives as a tribute to their deaths.

Using municipal records, police files, contemporary newspapers, and interviews with families / descendants of the slain men and women, Burke and O'Gorman have managed to document the history of the Chicago Police Department from its earliest days to the present. As Chicago itself evolved from prairie outpost to Midwestern metropolis, its police force underwent a simultaneous transformation, changing from a collection of elected constables to a major urban peacekeeping force. With progress came new dangers, and corresponding casualties.

The postmortem roll call begins with Constable James Quinn, who died on December 5, 1853 after being brutally assaulted by local hoodlums, and ends with the January 2006 death of Patrolman Eric Solorio, whose vehicle crashed during a high-speed pursuit. Expert commentary on the Department's history, stunning illustrations and photos, and data tables that document arrests, causes of death, number of CPD deaths by rank, and officers killed by year make "END OF WATCH" an authoritative history of the Chicago PD.

I was especially moved by a grainy photo of Patrolman Casper Lauer (died September 18, 1854 after being stabbed by a criminal he was trying to arrest) in his coffin. This image was provided to the authors courtesy of Lauer's descendants. They gave it the perfect description: "an eerie image of a sad moment in Chicago's early history.”

About the Chicago Police Department

On January 31, 1835, the State of Illinois authorized the Town of Chicago to establish its own police force.  On August 15, Orsemus Morrison is elected Chicago's first constable, assisted by Constables Luther Nichols and John Shrigley. The three-man police force serves and protects a population of about 3,200. The Police Department pre-dates Chicago as a city.


Today, the Chicago Police Department is the second largest in the United States, serving approximately 2.9 million residents within the 228 square miles that constitutes the City of Chicago.  The Chicago Police Department had, at the end of 2005, 13,323 sworn police officers and over 2,000 civilian personnel.


The Chicago Police Department is divided into 25 police districts.  Each district has between 9 and 15 police beats, with a total 281 beats throughout the city of Chicago. Each of the 25 police districts is led by a district commander who, in addition to uniformed police officers, has teams of undercover tactical and gang police officers at his or her disposal.  The Chicago Police Department Districts are organized into five larger organization entities called Areas.  These area commanders report to the Bureau of Patrol.


In addition to the Bureau of Patrol, the Chicago Police Department has four other bureaus: Bureau of Investigative Services; Bureau of Strategic Deployment; Bureau of Crime Strategy and Accountability; and, the Bureau of Administrative services.  Instead of a Chief of Police, the Chicago Police Department has a Superintendent of Police; and, the Bureau commanders hold the rank of Deputy Superintendent.

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