GRPD remembers officers killed in 1921

Left: Special Officer George Brandsma. Right; Detective Samuel Slater. (Courtesy GRPD)

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — The Grand Rapids Police Department on Monday remembered two officers killed in the line of duty in 1921.

On Dec. 7, 1921, according to a Monday post on GRPD’s Facebook page, Detective Samuel Slater and Special Officer George Brandsma went to what is now Ardmore Street SE on a tip about suspected bank robbers.

When they approached the house where the bank robbers were believed to be, the suspects shot Slater through the door.

Brandsma forced his way inside the house. He was shot multiple times and died immediately. He left behind a wife and five children.

Slater was rushed to the hospital, where he died on Dec. 9, 1921 — his 54th birthday. He left behind a wife and three children.

The incident was the only one in the city’s history that took the lives of two officers.

Slater’s older brother, Henry Slater, was also a police officer who had died on the job in 1907. Henry Slater was the second GRPD officer ever killed in the line of duty. 15 GRPD officers have been killed in the line of duty since 1895, according to the city’s website.

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