Fallen Officers

Jason Harwood Photo

Cpl. Jason Harwood

  • End of Watch: Sunday, September 7, 2014
  • Age: 40
  • Tour of Duty: 15 Years
  • Cause of Death: Gunfire
  • Date of Incident: Sunday, September 7, 2014

With heavy hearts, the City of Topeka mourns the passing of Topeka Police CPL Jason E. Harwood. CPL Harwood was killed in the line of duty on September 7, 2014. CPL Harwood joined the Topeka Police force on June 28, 1999, where he served as a member of the Hit-and-Run unit and the K-9 Unit, before being promoted to Corporal in May 2012. CPL Harwood was 40 years old.

He is survived by his wife and two sons.

Atherly photo

Officer Jeff Atherly

  • End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
  • Age: 29
  • Tour of Duty: 1.5 Years
  • Badge Number: 155
  • Cause of Death: Gunfire
  • Date of Incident: Sunday, December 16, 2012
  • Weapon Used: Handgun

Officer Jeff Atherly was killed at 1809 hours while investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle, which was occupied by three individuals, was evacuated by Officer Atherly and Corporal David Gogian, and during that process one of the vehicle’s occupants shot and killed Officer Atherly and
Corporal Gogian. The suspect was killed during a stand-off with police the following morning, on December 17, 2012.

Officer Jeff Atherly had served with the Topeka Police Department for almost two years. He is survived by a son.

Gogian Photo

Corporal David Gogian

  • End of Watch: Sunday, December 16, 2012
  • Age: 50
  • Tour of Duty: 8 years
  • Badge Number: 408
  • Cause of Death: Gunfire
  • Date of Incident: Sunday, December 16, 2012
  • Weapon Used: Handgun

Corporal David Gogian was killed at 1809 hours while investigating a report of a suspicious vehicle. The vehicle, which was occupied by three individuals, was evacuated by Corporal Gogian and Officer Atherly, and one of the vehicle’s occupants shot and killed Corporal Gogian and Officer Atherly. The suspect was killed during a stand-off with police the following morning, on December 17, 2012.

Corporal David Gogian had served with the Topeka Police Department 12 years as a Reserve Officer then an additional 8 years as a full time Officer. He is survived by his wife, three sons and one daughter.

Bohlender photo

Police Officer Charles Joseph Bohlender Jr.

  • End of Watch: Tuesday, June 13, 2000
  • Biographical Info: Age: 33
  • Tour of Duty: 9 years
  • Badge Number: 240 Incident Details
  • Cause of Death: Aircraft accident
  • Date of Incident: Tuesday, June 13, 2000
  • Weapon Used: Not available

Officer Bohlender and Officer Jeff Howey were killed at 0200 hours when their helicopter crashed while they were assisting ground officers during a burglary alarm at a home improvement store. As the ground officers were inside searching the building, Officer Bohlender, the flight observer, and Officer Howey were circling overhead when the helicopter suddenly went into a spiral and crashed into an adjacent field, bursting into flames. The helicopter, a 1994 Schweizer 300 C, had approximately 5,600 hours of flying time.

Officer Bohlender had served with the Topeka Police Department for 9 years. He is survived by his wife, and three children.

Howey photo

Police Officer Jeff William Howey

  • End of Watch: Tuesday, June 13, 2000
  • Age: 37
  • Tour of Duty: 8 years
  • Badge Number: 262 Incident Details
  • Cause of Death: Aircraft accident
  • Date of Incident: Tuesday, June 13, 2000
  • Weapon Used: Not available

Officer Howey and Officer Joseph Bohlender were killed at 0200 hours when their helicopter crashed while they were assisting ground officers during a burglary alarm at a home improvement store. As the ground officers were inside searching the building, Officer Howey, the pilot, and Officer Bohlender were circling overhead when the helicopter suddenly went into a spiral and crashed into an adjacent field, bursting into flames. The helicopter, a 1994 Schweizer 300 C, had approximately 5,600 hours of flying time.

Officer Howey had served with the Topeka Police Department for 8 years. He is survived by his wife
and two daughters.

Patrolman Tony Ray Patterson

  • End of Watch: Thursday, October 12, 1995
  • Age: 31
  • Tour of Duty: 6 years
  • Badge Number: 256 Incident Details
  • Cause of Death: Gunfire
  • Date of Incident: Thursday, October 12, 1995
  • Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type

Patrolman Patterson was shot and killed while conducting a drug raid on a house. Patrolman Patterson was the ram man for the raid. In his attempt to ram the suspect’s door a piece of the door panel was broken out. The suspect fired a shot through the hole in the door, striking Patrolman Patterson. Although he
was wearing his bullet-resistant vest, the shot entered under his left arm, which was unprotected, and continued through his left side, killing him. Unsuccessful attempts were made by fellow officers and paramedics to revive Patrolman Patterson. The suspect was injured in the leg by return fire from another officer involved in the raid.

Patrolman Patterson had been with the agency for six years and is survived by his wife and two children.

Hood photo

Corporal Marcus W. Hood

  • Age: 40
  • Tour of Duty: 18 years
  • Badge Number: Not available Incident Details
  • Cause of Death: Aircraft accident
  • Date of Incident: Friday, November 1, 1974
  • Weapon Used: Not available

Corporal Marcus Hood was killed in a helicopter crash while attempting to make an emergency landing. He was attempting to land in the parking lot of the Topeka Public Library when he took evasive maneuvers to avoid striking a woman and her child. Corporal Hood had served with the agency for 18 years.

He was survived by his wife and two children.

Reserve Police Officer James Michael Buffum

  • Topeka Police Department, Kansas
  • End of Watch Saturday, September 13, 1975
  • Biographical Info: Age: 32
  • Badge Number: Not available
  • Cause of Death: Heart Attack
  • Date of Incident: September 13, 1975

Reserve Police Officer James Buffum suffered a fatal heart attack shortly after struggling with a subject he had just arrested for disorderly conduct. The man slammed Officer Buffum against a wall during the struggle. Officer Buffum was able to subdue the subject and place him in custody. He suddenly collapsed as he completed paperwork.

Officer Buffum had served with the Topeka Police Department for two years as a Reserve Officer.

Shields photo

Patrolman Clarence L. (Boots) Shields

  • End of Watch: Monday, April 11, 1955
  • Age: 32
  • Tour of Duty: 6 years
  • Badge Number: Not available Incident Details
  • Cause of Death: Gunfire
  • Date of Incident: Monday, April 11, 1955
  • Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type

Suspect Info: Sentenced to life Patrolman Shields was shot and killed by one of two burglars he surprised on the roof of the Moose Lodge in North Topeka on North Kansas Avenue. A search began for him when his patrol car was found three miles away. His body was not found until later that day. Two suspects were arrested the next day. It was discovered that both suspects worked for Patrolman Shields at a trucking company he ran during his off duty hours.

The gunman was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. The other suspect was convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to no less than 15 years in prison. Patrolman Shields was survived by his wife and daughter.

Matthews photo

Patrolman Caswell S. Matthews

  • End of Watch: Sunday, May 5, 1912
  • Age: 54
  • Tour of Duty: Not available
  • Badge Number: Not available
  • Cause of Death: Gunfire
  • Date of Incident: Sunday, May 5, 1912
  • Weapon Used: Gun; Unknown type

Patrolman Matthews was shot and killed by two suspects who had robbed the Bonner Springs marshal. Patrolman Matthews received information they two would be arriving at the Union Pacific depot on the 6:00 am train. When he spotted the two men he attempted to question them but was met with gunfire, mortally wounding Patrolman Matthews.

Patrolman Matthews was able to return fire and wound one of the suspects, who was eventually arrested. The other was apprehended by the police chief after a brief struggle.