In the Line of Fire
Brookline Police Who Gave Their Lives in Service to the Town
November 15, 2009

Prev Next
In the long history of the Brookline Police Department, two officers -- Joseph McMurray in 1904 and Joseph O'Brien in 1930 -- were shot and killed in the line of duty while responding to crimes.

Brookline Detective Kenneth McHugh, a 31-year veteran of the police force and unofficial department historian, tells their stories here taken from his illustrated presentation to the Fall 2009 Meeting of the Brookline Historical Society.
My interest in this story goes back to January of 1978 when I was in the Brookline Police Academy. Several days before the Blizzard of '78 a less well-known blizzard blanketed the region.

Police cadets were reminded that there were no "snow days" for officers. To fill the time, we were told to research the history of the Brookline Police Department. I used the time to go to the public library. The more I found out, the more interested I became. In those days the stacks were closed so you had to submit slips to get the books delivered to your table or study desk. I probably drove the librarians crazy.