Blue Friday of New York

Honoring Those Who Protect and Serve

Troy Police Department

End of Watch: April 30, 2020 

Detective Sergeant Randall C. FrenchTroy Police Department

Detective Sergeant Randy French died after contracting COVID-19 while on duty.

Detective Sergeant French had served with the Troy Police Department for 17 years and was assigned to the Special Operations Section. He is survived by his wife. two daughters, father, and sister.

In early 2020, thousands of law enforcement officers and other first responders throughout the country contracted COVID-19 during the worldwide pandemic due to requirements of their job. Many of these first responders died as a result of COVID-19.

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End of Watch: June 17, 1972 

Patrolman Joseph F. BrassardTroy Police Department

On June 17th, 1972 Officer Brassard responded to the Parkview Tavern located on 5th Avenue between Congress and Ferry Streets for a disturbance call. Officer Brassard, along with other officers, was attempting to arrest a disorderly male who was under the influence of narcotics. According to published reports, a vicious scuffle unfolded, during which Officer Brassard suffered a kick to his chest by the drug-enraged subject. After a lengthy fight, he was subdued and taken into custody. While at the Central Police Station, Officer Brassard reported feeling ill to his fellow officers. He completed his tour of duty and went home. Within 15 minutes of arriving at his home, Officer Brassard collapsed at his kitchen table. He was immediately transported to Samaritan Hospital where he was pronounced deceased. An autopsy revealed he suffered a fatal heart attack.

On the orders of Troy Police Chief James Doherty, a funeral with full department honors was given to their fallen brother. Police agencies from across the region attended. He was eulogized at St. Jude's Church and then buried at St. Peter's Cemetery.

Officer Brassard was born and raised in Troy, NY and attended Troy schools. He was a United States Army veteran serving as a M.P. in the Korean War. He joined the Troy Police Department on October 7th, 1963 and at the time of his death, was assigned to the 3rd Platoon, patrol division. He is survived by his wife, Barbara and his four sons.

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End of Watch: January 10, 1949 

Police Officer Edward HowardTroy Police Department

Officer Edward Howard suffered a fatal heart attack as the result of smoke inhalation while assisting at a fire at a public school.

He was survived by his wife and two children.

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End of Watch: October 5, 1933 

Police Officer James W. LineyTroy Police Department

Officer James Liney was killed in a motorcycle accident on 15th Street, near Sage Avenue, while on patrol at approximately 11:00 pm. His motorcycle collided with another vehicle head-on during a period of rain.

Officer Liney was a U.S. Army veteran of WWI and had served with the Troy Police Department for 3.5 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and two daughters.

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End of Watch: July 20, 1932 

Police Officer Joseph A. BurkeTroy Police Department

Officer Joseph Burke was killed in a motorcycle accident on Spring Street while en route to direct school traffic nearby. It is believed that his motorcycle tipped over as he attempted to come to a stop behind a truck that had just stopped.

He was taken to Troy Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries four hours later.

Officer Burke was a U.S. Army veteran of WWI and had served with the Troy Police Department for three years. He was survived by his wife, mother, brother, and three sisters.

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End of Watch: April 25, 1925 

Sergeant Thomas P. OatesTroy Police Department

Sergeant Oates was shot and killed by a man who was also wanted for the murder of Captain Albert Youmans and the wounding of Patrolman John Flynn, both of the Schenectady Police Department. Patrolman Flynn succumbed to his wounds ten years later, on August 28, 1934.

The suspect was shot and killed in a shootout with Patrolman Frank Quinlivan, of the Schenectady Police Department, on September 15, 1925. Patrolman Quinlivan was also killed in the shootout.

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End of Watch: October 10, 1910 

Police Officer Michael J. McMahonTroy Police Department

Officer Michael McMahon was shot and killed when he responded to a domestic disturbance. He was shot while approaching the home's front door.

The suspect was convicted of Officer McMahon's murder and executed at Clinton Prison in 1911.

Officer McMahon had served with the agency for seven years. He was survived by his wife and six children.

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End of Watch: October 23, 1881 

Patrolman Mosher BurnhamTroy Police Department

Patrolman Mosher Burnham was a founding member of the village of Lansingburgh's police force, which consisted of one precinct house and several officers.

On October 23rd, 1881, while conversing with his fellow officers outside of the precinct house, Officer Burnham had a premonition and said to them: "There is going to be a racket tonight gentlemen. I can feel it in my bones". Later that night, a saloon and grocery store located on the Southeast corner of present day 4th Avenue and 120th Street was burglarized. The thieves had broken out a side window of the business and entered it. The owner, along with his wife, were inside asleep on the 2nd floor. The burglars had entered the store and began to rummage through it. As the thieves were removing merchandise from the store, one of them made his way to the 2nd floor residence. The burglar removed his shoes, "so as to not make a sound", and entered the bedroom where the sleeping couple were. The thief took ten dollars and a silver watch from the store owner's vest which was hanging on a chair alongside the bed and exited the bedroom, undetected. As the thieves exited the store, they were encountered by Officer Burnham who was walking his beat. The men fled south from 120th Street into the alley between 4th Avenue and 5th Avenue. Officer Burnham gave chase. As the officer rounded the corner into the alley, the murderers had ambushed him and fired one shot. The bullet entered his abdomen, severing his spinal cord, killing him instantly. The slain Officer's body was not discovered until 6am that morning when a passer-by found him and summoned for help.

Officer Burnham's funeral was held at his house, which was located at 21 Hoosick St in the village of Lansingburgh. (Located on this site now is the Lansingburgh's Boys & Girls club). He was buried in his police uniform in Oakwood Cemetery.

Two men were immediately arrested and charged on "suspicion of knowing something about the murder". A judge later concluded that the two had nothing to do with the homicide and released them. The murder went unsolved until a break in the case came in 1883 when an inmate, James Sweeney made a confession on his deathbed implicating two men in the murder of Officer Burnham. In 1890 one of these men, Thomas Meskell, was located in New York City and arrested on first degree murder. On December 2nd, 1890 Meskill offered to plead guilty to Manslaughter 2nd. Initially, the Rensselaer County District Attorney refused to accept the offer, however the very next day they did so, citing the defendant's "delicate" health. He was sentenced to serve 6 years and 9 months in Dannemora Prison.

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End of Watch: April 18, 1868 

Policeman David C. CrandallTroy Police Department

Policeman David Crandall was shot and killed after interrupting a burglary in progress.

Policeman Crandall was walking his beat in the Town of Albia when he noticed that a store was being burglarized. After listening to the burglars talk inside, Policeman Crandall determined that there were too many suspects for him to confront alone, so be began to run to down the street to an open mill to get assistance. As he did, he was spotted by an accomplice of the burglars, who fired a revolver at Policeman Crandell, striking him in the head.

Policeman Crandall was an original member of the Capital Police District which was formed in 1865 and had served there for three years. He had previously served as a deputy sheriff in Albany County. He was survived by his wife and four children.

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End of Watch On This Date

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