April 1st, 2014 by milwaukeepolice
DECEASED: June 22, 1884
Roundsman Frank Piszczek’s murder on June 22, 1884 is the first recorded death of a Milwaukee Police Officer.
In the early morning hours of Saturday, June 21st, 1884, Roundsman Piszczek, was questioning a man across the street from the Union Depot at what is now S. 2nd Street and W. Seeboth Street. Roundsman Piszczek was not satisfied with the answers and arrested him on suspicion of being a crook. As they walked toward the South Side station, at what is now S. 1st and W. Florida Street, the man broke away and fired two shots from a revolver into Roundsman Piszczek’s stomach. Roundsman Piszczek returned fire, but the man disappeared into the fog and darkness.
Other officers heard the shots and found Roundsman Piszczek lying on the sidewalk. He drifted in and out of consciousness over the next 40 hours before succumbing to his wounds. In that time, he was able to give a description of the individual.
Even with a massive search of the city, the man managed to escape. He never faced his crime, however it is believed that the man was identified as Paddy Cavanaugh, a cracksman (safe robber), who days earlier had blown a safe at a saloon in Manitowoc. It is also believed that he was likely arrested elsewhere as he fled, as he was never seen in Chicago again.
Roundsman Piszczek was a tanner by trade, and was at one time employed on the St Paul Road as a breakman. He became a member of the Milwaukee police force in 1876. He was a night patrolman, was then assigned to day duty and afterwards became station keeper on the South Side. Eight months prior to his death he was promoted to Roundsman. He was known as a hard-working, efficient officer, and a gentleman on and off duty. He was 33-years-old and had a wife and five children.