This small memorial is dedicated not just to the officers who have lost their lives protecting the citizens of Lancaster County, but also to their families who supported them doing the job they loved.
It’s not how these officers died that makes them heroes, it’s how they lived.
-National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial, Washington DC
Pvt Stanley Christ
Pennsylvania State Police End of Watch: Dec 12th,1919
Private Stanley Christ was injured when his horse kicked him in the chest while he was grooming it. He was removed to the hospital but died on almost a month later from serious internal injuries to his intestines and bladder.
Chief Harry Hartman
Columbia Borough Police End of Watch: April 4th,1923
Chief Hartman was shot and killed while attempting to serve a mental commitment paper to a man at a house on Union Street at approximately 0900 hours. As Chief Hartman and the man’s father approached the home the man opened fire with a .25 caliber revolver, striking the father. Chief Hartman attempted to knock down the door but was struck twice in the abdomen. The suspect was taken into custody by two citizens next to the police station. Chief Hartman was taken to Columbia Hospital where he succumbed to his wounds that afternoon.
Chief Hartman had been with the agency for three years and was survived by his six children and three sisters.
Lt Elwood R. Gainor
Lancaster City Police End of Watch: Mar 28th,1927
Lieutenant Gainor was beaten and shot to death after being abducted, while in uniform, from Lancaster. His body was found on Hook Road in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, the following day. His skull had been crushed and he had been shot in the head four times. It is believed that he was abducted and murdered by bootleggers who were operating in Lancaster.
Const Abner A. Hull
Lancaster County Constable End of Watch: July 16th,1936
Constable Abner Hull was shot and killed while attempting to serve a warrant on a man for surety of the peace. The suspect had been drinking and was threatening suicide.
When Constable Hull arrived at the scene, he encountered the man holding a hunting rifle. After exchanging words the man opened fire. During the ensuing shootout ,Constable Hull was struck in the armpit and killed instantly.
Members of the Pennsylvania State Police, Pennsylvania Highway Patrol, and Lancaster Police Department responded to the scene. The suspect was shot and wounded during a second shootout. After recovering from his injuries, he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 6 to 12 years in prison.
Constable Hull was survived by his mother, sister, and four brothers.
Chief Burnell Imhoff
New Holland Borough Police End of Watch: Jun 8th,1939
Chief Burnell Imhoff succumbed to injuries sustained five days earlier in a motorcycle accident at the intersection of Main Street and Custer Avenue. He had taken evasive action to avoid striking a vehicle that had also entered the intersection. His motorcycle left the roadway and struck a restaurant, causing fatal injuries.
He was first taken home, and then transported to St. Joseph’s Hospital, where he remained until succumbing to his injuries.
Chief Imhoff was a U.S. Army veteran of WWI and had served with the New Holland Police Department for 2 1/2 years. He was the agency’s first police chief and was survived by his wife and three daughters.
Chief Marvin Foltz
East Donegal Township Police End of Watch: April 7th,1967
Chief Foltz was shot and killed during a bank robbery in Maytown, Pennsylvania. He had gone into the bank and ordered the robbers to put their hands up when he met a fusillade of of gunfire. Though wounded, he staggered to the bank steps and emptied his gun at the fleeing robbers. Three men were arrested and charged with his murder.
One of the suspects was convicted of Chief Foltz’s murder and sentenced to life in prison on June 23, 1967.
Chief Foltz was the only full-time employee of the three man department. He was survived by his wife and daughter who had rushed to the scene from their house nearby.
Officer Michael R. Sagner
East Earl Township Police End of Watch: Oct 7th,1972
Officer Sagner was killed in an automobile accident while responding to back up officers from a neighboring agency during a fight call at a local bar. His patrol struck a pool of water and hydroplaned. The vehicle crossed into oncoming traffic and was broadsided by another car.
Officer Sagner was survived by his parents.
Trp Robert D. Lapp
Pennsylvania State Police End of Watch: Oct 16th,1972
Trooper Robert Lapp was shot and killed while serving a fugitive from justice warrant on a suspect. As Trooper Lapp and other officers entered the suspect’s apartment, a single shot was fired killing Trooper Lapp. Other officers returned fire, killing the suspect.
Trooper Lapp had been with the agency for eight years and was survived by this wife and three children.
Sgt Delbert R. Flowers
Manheim Borough Police End of Watch: Nov 9th,1984
Sergeant Flowers was killed in an automobile accident.
Sergeant Flowers was survived by his wife and a son.
Cpl Paul Almer
Pennsylvania State Police End of Watch: Apr 12th,1989
Corporal Paul Almer and Trooper Wayne Bilheimer were killed in a helicopter crash while searching for a body in the Susquehanna River in southern York County, Pennsylvania. Corporal Almer was piloting the aircraft when it struck high-voltage power lines at an altitude of approximately 90 feet. The helicopter crashed into approximately ten feet of water, with both officers trapped inside. Trooper Bilheimer succumbed to multiple trauma injuries and Corporal Almer drowned. Both officers were found still strapped into their harnesses.
Corporal Almer had served with the agency for 14 years. Before joining the State Police he had been a combat helicopter pilot with the United States Army and served in Vietnam for 18 months. He was survived by his mother and fiancee.
Trp Wayne D. Bilheimer
Pennsylvania State Police End of Watch: Apr 12th,1989
Trooper Wayne Bilheimer and Pilot, Corporal Paul Almer, were killed in a helicopter crash at approximately 0730 hours while searching for a body in the Susquehanna River in southern York County, Pennsylvania. Corporal Almer was piloting the aircraft when it struck high-voltage power lines at an altitude of approximately 90 feet. The helicopter crashed into approximately ten feet of water, with both officers trapped inside. Trooper Bilheimer succumbed to multiple trauma injuries and Corporal Almer drowned. Both officers were found still strapped into their harnesses.
Trooper Bilheimer had served with the agency for 21 years. He was survived by his wife of 24 years, Wendy.
Const Thomas W. Wohlfeil
Lancaster County Constable End of Watch: Nov 24th,1989
Constable Thomas Wohlfeil was shot and killed while escorting a woman to pickup belongings from her estranged husband’s home in Elizabethtown, Lancaster County. As the two entered the residence they were met by the husband, who opened fire and killed both of them.
The suspect was convicted of Constable Wohlfeil’s murder and sentenced to two life sentences.
Constable Wohlfeil was survived by his two children.
Chief Douglas A. Shertzer Sr.
Lititz Borough Police End of Watch: May 11th,2004
Chief Shertzer was killed in a motorcycle accident while on duty. He was driving the department’s motorcycle through East Hempfield Township when an oncoming car made a left turn in front of him, causing a collision. He was transported to Lancaster General Hospital where he died a short time later while undergoing surgery.
He had completed a police motorcycle training course earlier in the month, and was driving the department’s new motorcycle.
Chief Shertzer had served as chief of the 14-person Lititz Borough Police Department for 10 years, and had served with the agency for a total of 23 years. He is survived by his wife, three children, and four grandchildren.
The names dates and bios on this page were collected from the Officer Down Memorial Page. We encourage you to visit the site and pay somber respects to those that gave everything they had, and everything they would ever have for the safety of their communities.