Hagerstown Police Dept. Honors Fallen Officers


HAGERSTOWN, Md. - On Wednesday evening, officers with the Hagerstown Police Department, past and present, gathered together to honor the memory of their fallen officers.

There have been six officers who've died in the line of duty in the station's history.

"I think part of it has to do with tradition, and it's important to keep those traditions to understand this is where we've come from and this is who we are. And to keep that and remember each year so that people do know that especially those who have already done the ultimate sacrifice that they are remembered," said Lt. Margaret Kline, retired Hagerstown Police Lieutenant.

During the event, community members and retired officers shared their appreciation for the police department and their service to the community.

The ceremony also honored current Hagerstown Police employees.

"Part of it is to recognize those officers who are currently working in that position that some day they may have to do that ultimate sacrifice. You hope not. But someday that could occur," said Lt. Kline. "So it is a way not just for those officers that have gone before us but to those that are here today struggling with what we have to struggle with in our society."

Officers say events like this connect all law enforcement agencies as they paid tribute to those who've given the ultimate sacrifice to protect and serve

"We're one big community and a very tight nit community so a loss anywhere is very traumatic to all of us and we remember that so the best way we can do it is just carry on their mission, carry on the service to the community and continue to improve ourselves," said Chief Mark Holtzman, Hagerstown Police Department.

The ceremony ended with a presentation of memorial wreaths that honor the fraternal order of police, retired HPD employees and active HDP employees. 

Below are the stories of the six fallen Hagerstown Police Officers:

1.     Officer Charles E. Gall:

While on duty Officer Gall was murdered by a mob.  Circumstances of his death are not known but it is speculated that Officer Gall was attempting to calm a mob motivated by a labor dispute.

End of Watch: October 10th, 1866

2.     Officer Murphy E. Flory:

Officer Flory was shot and killed at the Norfolk & Western freight yards by a disgruntled employee who had recently been fired by the railroad.  Shot in the heart, Officer Flory returned fire and wounded the suspect.  Flory, a Spanish American War veteran, was survived by his father and two brothers.

End of Watch: June 26th, 1901

3.     Officer John C. Middlekauff:

Officer Middlekauff was shot while investigating suspicious activity in the B & O Railroad Yards between Antietam and Baltimore Streets. Upon arrival at the yards, Officer Middlekauff separated from two other Hagerstown officers.  While alone, the suspects shot him in the abdomen.  He died two days later in hospital. Like Officer Flory, Middlekauff was also a veteran of the Spanish American War.  He was survived by a wife and father.

End of Watch: August 17th, 1914

4.     Chief of Police George W. Fridinger:

While riding in a police vehicle on Maryland Avenue, Chief Fridinger’s vehicle was struck and overturned by a trolley car. Because of a wind storm, the car’s blinds had been pulled down which limited visibility.  The driver, the City Street Superintendent, turned into an on-coming trolley that struck the police car broadside.

End of Watch: February 28th, 1918

5.     Officer Lynwood N. Newcomer:

Officer Newcomer was electrocuted near the entrance to Hagerstown City Park when he exited his patrol car and stepped on a live wire during a severe storm.  Newcomer was survived by his wife.

End of Watch: June 3rd, 1951

6.     Officer Donald Ralph Kline

Officer Kline was shot and killed while off duty when he interrupted an armed robbery in a grocery store.  While on foot and pursuing the robbery suspect, the suspect shot Kline three times in the chest.  He died immediately.

End of Watch: December 13th, 1975


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