Friday, October 16, 2009

In Memoriam: Officer William Cooke, Killed in the Line of Duty 151 Years Ago

The Salt Lake City Police Department today remembers the loss of one its own: Officer William Cooke, killed in the line of duty October 18, 1858.

Officer Cooke was the first Utah police officer to be murdered in the line of duty.

On the afternoon of October 13, the 55-year-old victim was on duty and alone at the city jail. Two men came to the jail and demanded the release of an inmate. When Officer Cooke refused, one of the men shot him in the thigh. Officer Cooke died five days later.

The killer fled Salt Lake City. He was shot and killed October 21, 1858, near Fort Bridger, Wyoming, by a Salt Lake mail carrier familiar with the murder.

Officer Cooke was married and the father of six children. He is buried in Salt Lake City Cemetery.

If you have family history or photos of Officer Cooke to share, please email or call (801) 799-3340. To learn more about our Fallen Officers, please visit Click on “Honoring Our Own.”

The Police Department wishes to thank the Utah Law Enforcement Memorial for its assistance in this remembrance.