END OF WATCH: January 28, 1911
Cleveland Police Department
Our Men in Blue….Patrolman Herman Reimer was one of our men in blue who died in his uniform with the blood from the wound in his heart coloring the blue of his coat a deep crimson.
Saturday, January 28, 1911, Reimer’s Lieutenant warned his platoon to beware of the dangerous characters hanging around the area of East 35th Street and Perkins Avenue. Reimer, “a big, strong fellow” said, “I’ll get them, never fear,” as he set out around 6 o’clock along with the rest of his division.
His first stop was the Royal Laundry, which occupied a corner site, where he saw someone run in the side door. Believing that the person was a driver, Reimer exchanged a few words with the night watchman and was on his way, whistling a tune. Not a minute later, a shot rang out.
The night watchman heard someone shout, “My God, I’ve been shot! Let me go, oh, let me go.” As he ran to the door, he saw Reimer staggering around the corner, clutching his breast. With a deep groan Herman Reimer fell headlong into a mud puddle, groaning, “They’ve done for me.” The watchman heard footsteps rapidly growing fainter in the distance.
The following days were filled with a massive manhunt by every available police officer in the precinct. Many leads were investigated but none of them led to Patrolman Reimer’s killer.
Investigators believed Reimer suspected trouble, because his night stick was drawn. Reimer may have caught the flash of the revolver and removed his regulation glove in order to pull his gun from his hip pocket. Reimer was shot in the heart, doctors believed the killers used his badge as their target due to the dim light of the January night.
Patrolman Herman Reimer was a tall, jolly and athletic man who just joined the Police Department six months earlier.
He was survived by his wife and a year and half old son. Reimer also left behind his mother, father, two sisters and a brother.
Herman Reimer’s name is inscribed on the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall, Washington, D.C. panel 38, west wall, line 14.
By Colleen Sweeney, Greater Cleveland Police Officers Memorial Society