Fallen Officers

Established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962, National Police Week was created to pay special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Each May, we honor these people who have paid the ultimate sacrifice by participating in the annual Law Enforcement Memorial Week. In 2012, National Police Week will be celebrated from May 13 through May 19. More information can be found on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund website.

According to data from the last 10 years, on average 1 U.S. law enforcement officer is killed in the line of duty every 53 hours while another 58,000 are assaulted each year. Since 1792, which is the first known line-of-duty death, nearly 19,000 U.S. law enforcement officers have fallen while in the course of their duties. Sadly, the Alameda Police Department has lost two of our very best. Their retired badges are on display in the lobby of the Alameda Police Department for everyone to view. These heroes will never be forgotten.

Officer Robert James Davey, Jr. #76
End of Watch:
Thursday, March 3, 1983
Age: 33
Tour of Duty: 10 years
Officer Deward Burton Gresham #62
End of Watch:
Saturday, July 11, 1942
Age: 33
Tour of Duty: 3 years

Officer Robert Davey was shot and killed while assisting members of his department conducting a drug raid on a home.

He had just finished his normal shift and was not part of the raiding team, but assisted when they asked at the last moment. He was positioned at the rear of the home. As the six members of the team entered through the front, one of the drug dealer’s bodyguards jumped through a back window carrying an AR-15 that had been modified to a fully automatic M-16. Officer Davey ordered the man to drop his weapon but the man opened fire, striking Officer Davey in the side. Officer Davey returned fire, striking the suspect in the chest several times.

Before succumbing to his wound, Officer Davey was able to secure the rifle so that the suspect could not fire at other officers. The suspect was taken into custody in the backyard.

  Officer Deward Gresham was killed in a motorcycle accident while attempting to stop a traffic violator at 0800 hours. He was riding to work on his police motorcycle when he observed the violation and attempted to stop the car. Another vehicle pulled out in front of him, causing him to crash and strike his head. He was only wearing a soft hat and received fatal head injuries, which he succumbed to the following day.