Honoring Fallen Officer Joseph R. Wilson

As a Burbank Police Officers’ Association tradition, a wreath was placed at The Guardians statue to honor our fallen hero. The laying of the wreath was presented by the BPD Honor Guard.

Yesterday marked the anniversary of BPD Fallen Officer Joseph R. Wilson, End of Watch, June 17, 1961. “It is not how these officers died that made them heroes, it is how they lived.” By Vivian Eney Cross, Survivor. We will always honor our heroes for their service and ultimate sacrifice they made to secure our safety.

Assistant Police Chief John McAuliffe, praised the work of Wilson who was killed in a traffic accident while on duty, early Saturday morning.

McAuliffe said, “Wilson was a superior officer and dedicated to his work, especially in traffic safety.”

Wilson, a Burbank police officer for 3 1/2 years was struck by a car at the intersection of Buena Vista and Thornton Avenue.

According to witnesses, Wilson had stopped for a red signal at the intersection. When the signal turned green, he started across the intersection on his motorcycle. After he entered the intersection he was struck by the car which had allegedly run a red light.

The driver of the car was arrested and booked on suspicion of manslaughter and felony drunk driving. (As reported in the Burbank Daily Review dated June 19, 1961.)

Last year, the family of Joseph R. Wilson visited the Burbank Police Department to donate one of his police uniforms, which they preserved all these years.

The uniform was presented during a short ceremony in the Burbank Police and Fire Museum, which was attended by friends and family of Officer Wilson as well as members of the Burbank Police Department. As President of the Burbank Police Officers’ Association, I proudly accepted the uniform as an important piece of the Department’s history, and a reminder of Officer Wilson’s service, commitment, and sacrifice to our community.

Lieutenant J.J. Puglisi, President
Burbank Police Officers’ Association

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