P/O Thomas J. O'Neill

Fallen HeroPolice Officer Thomas J. O'Neill 


On this day in Baltimore Police History 1949, we lost our brother, Police Officer Thomas J. O'Neill, based on the following:

Officer O'Neill suffered a fatal cerebral hemorrhage after escorting an emergency Polio patient to Sydenham Hospital at approximately . 10 . Officer’s O'Neill, Kemmerzell, and Newman leapfrogged their motors from intersection to intersection in order to get the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible without interruption. The escorted ambulance carrying the Polio patient to the hospital made it their safely and in record time without incident. After the ambulance arrived at the hospital, the officers left to return to their posts. Officer O'Neill had trouble starting his bike (in 1949 they didn’t have electric starters; he had to kick-start his bike). He managed to catch up to the others and tell them about his bike troubles, and then made his way back over to his post near Lake Montebello. There can be a lot of stress in police work, often causing high blood pressure and heart trouble from the fast-paced lifestyle we as police have to live. In the O'Neill case, his body was found face down in the parking lot by a doctor, who realized he had an emergency medical condition, so he rushed him to the ER, where doctors determined that his medical condition was more serious than they were equipped to handle, so they arranged for him to be escorted from Sydenham to Mercy Hospital.

A combination of factors, including the stress of the escort and the effort made to restart his motorcycle, induced a fatal cerebral hemorrhage. Doctors worked for hours to save Officer O’Neill’s life, but at 6:45 AM on October 16, 1949, Officer O'Neill died. An investigation revealed his death was duty-related, and so his wife Helen was awarded his LOD pension.

As his brothers and sisters of the Baltimore Police Department, we will not let him be forgotten. His service honored the City of Baltimore and the Baltimore Police Department. May he rest in peace, and may God bless him.

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More details

End of Watch 16 October, 1949
City, St. Baltimore, Md
Panel Number 14-W: 26
Cause of Death Heart Attack
District Worked Motors

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