Boston Police Department Remembers Service and Sacrifice of the 1st Ever BPD Officer Killed in the Line Duty 161 Years Ago

Boston Police Department Remembers Service and Sacrifice of the 1st Ever BPD Officer Killed in the Line Duty 161 Years Ago: The men and women of the Boston Police Department remember the service and sacrifice of Officer Ezekiel Hodsdon who was shot and killed in the line of duty on this very day 161 years ago. On October 18, 1857, Officer Hodsdon was on foot patrol when he arrested a suspect in connection to several burglaries in the area of Maverick and Havre Streets. While Officer Hodsdon was taking the suspect into custody, a second man intervened and began to interfere with the arrest. During the ensuing altercation, the second man brandished a firearm and shot Officer Hodsdon in the head. Nearby officers, who heard both the altercation and noise of the gunshot, rushed to the scene but arrived too late to apprehend the suspects. The officers promptly rendered aid to their fallen comrade and carried him to Station 7 in East Boston. Later in the day, Officer Hodsdon would succumb to his injuries. Given Hodsdon’s popularity in the neighborhood, news of his shooting spread quickly and soon hundreds of incensed community members converged on the scene to join in the search for the two men wanted in connection to his murder. Despite the large search party, the suspect who shot Hodsdon was able to escape the area and evade capture. Almost a year later, however, the man who shot Hodsdon, William McNulty, was found hiding under an alias in a New Hampshire prison. However, due to poor health, McNulty was granted a pardon for his crime.  

Hodsdon was 26-years-old at the time of his death. Making his death ever more tragic, he was survived by his wife and infant son.

Hodsdon is buried at Woodlawn Cemetery in Everett, MA. His name is on the National Law Enforcement Memorial: Panel 50, West Line 26.

A Hero Sign and granite memorial is posted in memory of Officer Ezekiel Hodsdon at the corner of Havre and Maverick Streets in East Boston on District A-7 (East Boston). Should you find yourself in that area, please keep an eye out for Hodsdon’s Hero Sign and, if time allows, take a second to say a prayer and acknowledge the service and sacrifice of a brave soul who died protecting and serving our city while also recognizing the hurt, heartache and hardship endured by a family forced to cope and come to grips with the loss of a husband, father and friend who never came home.