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Beckley Police Department
340 Prince St
Beckley, WV 25801
304-256-1720
304-256-1721

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Fallen Heroes

Let US REMEMBER... 

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Courageously they lived, valiantly they died In The Line Of Duty…


 

The Beckley Police Department would like to recognize those officers who gave their lives in the line of duty.  We take the time to remember these brave officers and reflect not just on their death, but on their lives and the contribution they made in making our city safer.

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Patrolman Carl Dale Buckland


End of Watch:
Sunday, August 26, 1956
Patrolman Buckland was shot and killed while making a traffic stop on South Fayette Street. Patrolman Buckland had made initial contact with the driver and then walked around to speak with the passenger as his partner approached the driver. Patrolman Buckland asked the passenger, who had just been picked up by the driver while hitch-hiking, to step out of the car.

As Patrolman Buckland searched the passenger he located a small jar of moonshine. As he told his partner what he found the suspect suddenly produced a handgun and opened fire, striking Patrolman Buckland in the chest. The man then fired at the other officer, who retreated to a vacant lot for cover. The other officer was able to return fire and struck the suspect in the head, killing him.

Patrolman Buckland was transported to Raleigh General Hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Patrolman Buckland was survived by his wife and 5-year-old daughter.



Biographical Info

Age: 31
Tour of Duty: 1 year
Badge Number: 116

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date of Incident:
Sunday, August 26, 1956

Suspect Info: Apprehended


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Sergeant David Lee Lilly

End of Watch:
Monday, May 12, 1975
Sergeant Lilly was shot and killed during a traffic stop at the intersection of Route 19/21 bypass and New Raleigh Road shortly before midnight. As Sergeant Lilly spoke with the driver of the vehicle he was shot twice by the man, who was armed with a .32 caliber pistol. The man had been suspected of being involved in the robbery of a coin store earlier in the day.

After shooting Sergeant Lilly, the suspect fled the scene in the officer's patrol car.

The suspect fled the area but was apprehended in Wayne, New Jersey, twelve days later. He was returned to West Virginia, found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced to life in prison. On November 7, 1979, the suspect and several other prisoners escaped from the West Virginia State Penitentiary in Moundsville. During the escape attempt the suspect shot and killed Trooper Philip Kesner, of the West Virginia State Police, using a gun stolen from a prison guard during the escape.

The suspect was on the run for two years, until being arrested in New York City following a shootout with federal agents. During the time he was on the run he murdered an elderly man in Arizona. He was returned to West Virginia to complete severel life sentences.

Sergeant Lilly had served with the agency for 6.5 years. He was survived by his wife and child.



Biographical Info

Age: 30
Tour of Duty: 6 years, 6 months
Badge Number: 215

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date of Incident:
Monday, May 12, 1975

Suspect Info: Apprehended


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Detective Corporal Charles Eugene Smith II

End of Watch:
Tuesday, August 29, 2006
Corporal Charles Smith was shot and killed as he and another officer participated in an undercover narcotics purchase on South Fayette Street at approximately 4:00 am.

During the purchase one of the suspects opened fire, fatally wounding Corporal Smith.

Two suspects were apprehended a short time later and charged with first degree murder. Both were subsequently sentenced to life in prison.

Corporal Smith had served with the Beckley Police Department for 5.5 years. He is survived by his wife and 2-year-old daughter.



Biographical Info

Age: 29
Tour of Duty: 5 years, 6 months
Badge Number: 220

Cause of Death:
Gunfire
Date of Incident:
Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Suspect Info: Apprehended