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.”