Finding Fallen NYPD Patrolman Charles L. Farrell, E.O.W. 9/23/1932 – Part 1

Challenge Accepted

I guess you can say that as I’ve grown older I’ve become a bit of a history buff. Maybe it has come from watching historical programs on television. I’m not sure, but I know that I never had an appreciation for history when I was young.

Recently, I was approached by a buddy named Brian with a story that piqued my historical interest.

I’ve known Brian for several years, although we’ve never been close. Moreover, we always traveled in different circles. As a result, we rarely got beyond, “Hey, how’s it going,” or “Good to see you” conversation.

Then one day, he and I were having a conversation with another mutual friend. At that point I found out that he is a retired Palm Beach County, Florida firefighter.

I thanked him for his service and also told him that I’m retired from the Baltimore Police Department. At that moment we had an instant connection. As a result, the occasional good-natured, sibling rivalry, wise cracks were shared. He was my brother in red.

There is more to the back-story, but I don’t want to bore you with details that matter only to us. Let’s just say that we have a lot more in common then our prior public service.

Brian’s family, like mine, is made up of many Irish immigrants. And like my family, they settled in the New York City area. His family has many years of service in the New York Police Department as well as the New York Fire Department.

Brian told me that his grandfather, “Leonard” Farrell, was a NYPD patrolman who was killed in the line of duty in 1932. The cause of death as he understood it was a car accident, but they had no other details.

His Father Daniel F. Farrell was a retired NYPD officer. Furthermore, his Uncle John “Jack” Miles was also retired from the NYPD.

Sadly, his father passed away in 1984. Consequently, they never had a chance to discover details regarding their grandfather, “Leonard” Farrell.

Brian stated that he and his sister would love to learn more about their grandfather, his sacrifice in the NYPD, and details about his line of duty death.

Gone, But Not Forgotten

In the law enforcement community we say that our fallen are “gone, but not forgotten.” Is this true? Does it have an expiration date, or statute of limitations?

My interest in learning more and finding out what we can about “Leonard” Farrell was in gear. It has been almost 86 years since NYPD Patrolman Charles L. Farrell died in the line of duty. Hence, something tells me that our “gone, but not forgotten” motto was going to be severely tested.

My first stop on the search was Google. According to the Officer Down Memorial Page, their grandfather’s name was Charles L. “Leonard” Farrell. He was a patrolman for the NYPD and was killed on Friday, September 23, 1932. The only details provided were that of an automobile accident while assigned to the 10th Precinct. He was 36-years-old at the time.

Unfortunately, the National Law Enforcement Officer Memorial page had no additional details.

A search on NYC Pro Guide Facebook page revealed that September 23 is a date that has had many line of duty deaths for NYPD. They listed the following:

September 23, 1970 Patrolman Michael W. Paolillo, NYPD, was stabbed to death when he attempted to question a suspect. The suspect stabbed Patrolman Paolillo 17 times in the chest then stole his service weapon and fled from the location.

September 23, 1941 Patrolman James A. Schowers, NYPD, observed two suspicious men following a woman into a building at 2032 5th Avenue, Manhattan. He confronted the men, a struggle ensued and Patrolman Schowers was pushed over the railing of a staircase. He fell 15 feet to the ground and was killed instantly. Patrolman Schowers was the first full-blooded American Indian to serve with the New York City Police Department and is the only American Indian police officer to die in the line of duty in New York City. He was a direct descendant of Chief Sitting Bull.

September 23, 1937 Patrolman John H. A. Wilson, NYPD, responded to a robbery taking place at 35 Fulton Street, Manhattan. Patrolman Wilson drew his revolver and entered the location. He was shot and killed during a gunfight with three suspects.

September 23, 1932 Patrolman Charles L. Farrell, NYPD, was killed in an automobile accident while assigned to the 10th Precinct.

September 23, 1896 Patrolman Thomas R. McIntyre, NYPD, died while attempting to stop a runaway horse carriage at 75th street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan. He was dragged from his saddle and suffered a fractured skull.

I, along with others at Law Enforcement Today, have begun our search to find out more about fallen NYPD Patrolman Charles L. Farrell; End of Watch September 23, 1932.

We will reach out to our contacts in the NYPD, New York newspapers and historians in the area to see if they can help us come up with more details.

We’ve accepted the challenge. Maybe some sleuths and history buffs that spend time on our site and social media pages will help us with the investigation. We welcome the help and look forward to potential results.

If you would like to help please contact John “Jay” Wiley, host of the Law Enforcement Today Radio Show at [email protected].

We will post more about our investigation to “Finding Fallen NYPD Patrolman Charles L. Farrell, E.O.W. 9/23/1932 – Part 1” in the future.

John J. “Jay” Wiley is a retired Baltimore police sergeant and host of the Law Enforcement Today Radio Show and Podcast. Additionally he is a music radio DJ on a popular FM station in the Florida Keys and has many years experience in internet marketing and advertising. You can contact him by email at [email protected].