LINE OF DUTY DEATHS
Roll Call of all Line of Duty Deaths. A Line of Duty Death is classified as the death of an active sworn member by felonious or accidental means during the course of performing police functions while on or off duty.
Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Urban
Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Urban, Star #518, aged 41 years, was a 6 year, 9 month, 2 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to District 20, 25th Precinct - Shakespeare.
On December 4, 1917, at 5:35 a.m., Detective Sergeant Urban was on duty investigating burglaries in the community. Detective Sergeant Urban entered a closed store, the National Tea Company, located at 2830 West Armitage Avenue. At the same time Patrolman Charles Weinecke was walking his beat and observed Detective Sergeant Urban inside the store. Officer Weinecke mistook Urban for a burglar and in the confusion Weinecke fired a shot, striking Detective Sergeant Urban. Detective Sergeant Urban was taken to a St. Elizabeth’s Hospital where he died two days later on December 6, 1917.
Patrolman Charles Weinecke was exonerated of all responsibility for Detective Sergeant Urban’s death by the Coroner's Jury.
Detective Sergeant Urban was waked at his residence located at 2244 South Powell Avenue (present day Campbell Avenue) and he was laid to rest on December 10, 1917 in St. Adalbert Catholic Cemetery, 6800 North Milwaukee Avenue, Niles, Illinois.
Detective Sergeant Joseph Henry Urban, born November 19, 1876, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on March 4, 1911. He earned 2 Credible Mentions during his career. On November 12, 1913, he was promoted to 2nd Class Detective Sergeant, becoming effective on November 13, 1913 and his title being officially changed by order of the city council on January 11, 1915. Prior to Detective Sergeant Urban's promotion he was issued Star #149 as seen in the accompanying photo.
Detective Sergeant Urban was survived by his wife.
Incident Recorded under Chicago Police Department homicide file, Case #5385.
Ironically, Sergeant O'Connell's star number was reissued after his death to Sergeant Walter J. Riley, who was also killed in the Line of Duty on October 26, 1926.
Note: The photo of Sergeant Urban is of him wearing his previously assigned star number #149. At the time of the incident his assigned star number was #518.