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RWPD Observes Anniversary of Death of Fallen Officer

Redwood City Police Officer Herman Fleishman was killed in an on-duty collision on Jan. 22, 1939.

Officer Herman Fleishman Tour of Duty: 1927 – January 22, 1939  Photo: RWPD
Officer Herman Fleishman Tour of Duty: 1927 – January 22, 1939 Photo: RWPD
[Editor's note: The following is a posting from the Redwood City Police Department Facebook page.]

Officer Herman Fleishman

Tour of Duty: 1927 – January 22, 1939

The members of the Redwood City Police Department will honor Officer Herman Fleishman on the anniversary of his death that occurred while on duty with RCPD on January 22, 1939. Flags in front of the Police Department will be lowered to half staff on the true anniversary date, January 22nd through all patrol shifts on January 23rd. On Jan. 23, all of our sworn personnel will be dressed in a formal class "A" uniform and wearing the memorial mourning band across their badges to honor the sacrifice given by Officer Fleishman and his family. A historical summary of the events leading to the service death of Officer Fleishman is described below. 

On Sunday, January 22, 1939, at about 2:15 AM, Officer Fleishman was working patrol when he observed a car speeding about 60 miles per hour along El Camino Real. Fleishman and his partner, Special Officer Mark Ryan gave chase and pursued the car north on El Camino Real from Five Points into the City of San Carlos, where it was stopped near Brittan Avenue. The driver, George Devin, stopped the car in the number two lane and Fleishman pulled the patrol car off the right side of the road behind Devin’s car. The two were standing behind Devin’s car as Fleishman was issuing a citation. A call on the police radio summoned Officer Ryan to the patrol car. Seconds later, a crash to the rear of the violator’s car pinned Fleishman and Devin between the two cars. Fleishman’s left leg and both of Devin’s legs were sheared off. It was reported that after the accident, Fleishman attempted to get up from the pavement and crawled to Devin’s side to give him first aid. He then reportedly directed Officer Ryan to issue a citation to the driver of the car that hit them.

The impact sent Devin’s car more than 200 feet across the highway (El Camino Real), over a curb, and into a vacant lot. Fleishman and Devin were rushed to Mills Memorial Hospital where they died of their injuries just before noon. The driver of the other vehicle, Robert Lee, was charged with negligent homicide.

Officer Fleishman is the only officer killed in an on-duty collision in the department’s history. Forty two years old, Fleishman was survived by his wife and two daughters. In July 1939, city officials dedicated Fleishman Park in his honor. On this date, we remember and honor our Brother Officer, Herman Fleishman.

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