P/O Max Hirsch

Fallen HeroOfficer Max Hirsch
max hirsch 72Headstone of Patrolman Max Hirsch seen with Rabbi Chesky Tenenbaum

On this day in Baltimore Police History 1935, we lost our brother police officer Max Hirsch to an on-the-job injury based on the following:

Patrolman Max Hirsch of the Southern District was still unconscious at South Baltimore General Hospital on February 14, 1935, more than 16 hours after he had been injured in a fall at a garage in the rear of 614 Light St. during a commercial burglary investigation.  While patrolling his post, Officer Hirsh received information of a burglary in progress. Upon arrival at the location, he found an open door. During a meticulous search of the property, he made his way up to the second floor and continued his search. This part of the building was cluttered, unstable, and unsafe. As he searched, he came upon a suspect in hiding. This part of the events has become blurred; some say the suspect may have struggled with Officer Hirsch pushing him, which caused the fall; others say the man startled Officer Hirsch as he jumped up and ran; Officer Hirsch gave chase, apparently forgetting where he was, and then fell through an already weakened floor. In either case, the suspect was never seen or heard from again, and he was also never captured.

Because the witness who gave Officer Hirsch the information was anonymous too, for all we know, it could have been a set-up. We will never know. There were no leads to follow, no clues, and nowhere for the detectives to go for leads. The case was cold before it began.

Physicians said he had a “Probable Fractured Skull” as he staggered into a Fire House located at Light and Montgomery Streets, It was 6 AM, his hat was missing, and he asked for help as he said, “I fell." Authorities at the time were able to learn from him that he climbed to the second floor of the garage as part of an on-view, in-progress burglary investigation he stumbled upon while working his post. He was able to explain that he fell through the concrete of the second floor to the first floor below before making his way to the firehouse for medical attention and before being taken to South Baltimore General, where he would later succumb to his injuries. He wasn't clear in describing his confrontation with the suspect before slipping into what would become more than 16 hours of unconsciousness. He would eventually succumb to his injuries.

At 2 PM the following Sunday, a funeral service was held at his home at 3354 Park Heights Ave. for our brother, Patrolman Hirsh.  Rabbi Israel Tabak, of the Shaael Zion congregation, officiated the burial, which was held in the Harry Run Cemetery. The police guard and his fellow officers from the Southern District were in attendance.

We take this time to remember him and thank him for his service and sacrifice. We, his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, will not let him be forgotten. God bless you and rest in peace.

More details

End of Watch 14 February, 1935
City, St. 614 Light St.
Panel Number 37-E: 17
Cause of Death Fall
District Worked Southern

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