Remembering Burbank's Finest - EOW
Officer Matthew PavelkaEOW 11/15/2003
On November 15, 2003, Officer Matthew Pavelka was killed while responding to Officer Gregory Campbell’s call for backup. Two male subjects exited their vehicle, they both alighted firing automatic weapons. Both officers were wounded and transported to a local hospital, where Officer Pavelka died during surgery. Officer Pavelka had been in the field as a police officer for just ten months. Officer Pavelka joined the Air Force after graduating from high School. He served for five years as Military Policeman, received an Associate of Arts degree in Criminal Justice, and was intent on further-pursuing his education in his chosen field. Officer Pavelka was remembered by more than one of his fellow officers as a charming, light-hearted 26-year-old, with a crown of spiky orange hair, who loved being a cop.Officer Richard E. KunkleEOW 9/22/1961
Officer Kunkle died at St. Joseph Hospital after remaining unconscious with brain injuries for four days following an accident on his motorcycle in Burbank. The accident occurred at the northeast corner of Palm Avenue and Victory Boulevard as he pursued a traffic violator. The officer struck a curb while trying to avoid hitting a car. Three months prior to his death, Officer Kunkle received a letter of commendation from the City of Los Angeles for rescuing a woman from a burning building while off duty. Officer Kunkle had one of the longest motorcycle active service records. He also served four years in Anchorage, Alaska, before coming to Burbank. He served in the armed forces during World War II. He was wounded at the Battle of Bulge.Officer Joseph R. WilsonEOW 6/17/1961
Officer Wilson was killed in a traffic accident while on duty. According to witnesses, Office Wilson had stopped for a red signal at the intersection of Buena Vista Street and Thornton Avenue. As he proceeded through the intersection, he was struck by a suspected drunk driver who had run a red light. Officer Wilson was one of the most popular men on the force. Assistant Police Chief, John McAuliffe, stated, “Officer Wilson was a superior officer and dedicated to his work, especially in traffic safety”. Officer Wilson was a Burbank Police officer for 3 ½ years.Deputy City Marshal Robert L. NormandEOW 7/30/1920
On July 30, 1920, Deputy City Marshal, Robert L. Normand, was on duty when he requested assistance from Constable, Henry Purrier, to check three men driving a vehicle with the lights out. The two officers stopped the vehicle at Third Street and Tujunga Avenue. As the officers approached the vehicle, the occupants began shooting. Marshal Normand was killed instantly. Marshal Normand served Burbank from February 21, 1914 until his death.Deputy City Marshal Luther ColsonEOW 11/16/1914
On November 16, 1914, Deputy City Marshal, Luther Colson, was walking on the railroad tracks near what is now Victory Place and Lake Street. Several suspects started shooting at him from “The Willows.” Marshal Colson returned fire and after several shots, the suspects fled. Marshal Colson attempted to return to the downtown area, but he collapsed and was transported to a Burbank hospital where he later died.
K-9 Officer “Dickie”
Killed in the line of duty 1992
We have only had one K-9 killed in the line of duty; Officer Bragdon’s partner, Dickie. That was a tragic day for the Burbank Police Department, as well as the community. A canine officer and his K9 share good friendship and become great co-workers with a unique bond of loyalty that is impossible to describe. When an officer loses his K9 partner it can be devastating for the officer and his family and marks the end of an intense relationship that many say defies description.