Death Classification: Line of Duty Death

Agency: Chicago Police Department

Served: 16 years, 3 months, 15 days

Unit of Assignment / Detail: Bureau of Operational Services - Traffic Division (TD): Unit 085 - Traffic Area 5 Group

District of Incident (Present Day): 011 - Harrison

Cause of Death: Crash - Automobile (Pursuit)

Age at Time of Death: 38


Date of Birth: 22 Dec 1932

Date of Appointment: 22 Aug 1955

Date of Incident: 011 - Harrison

End of Watch: 07 Dec 1971

Date of Interment: 09 Dec 1971


Interment Details

 Cemetery: B'nai Jehoshua Cemetery - Chicago Illinois
 Grave Location: Unknown
 Interment Disposition: Burial


Memorial Details

Superintendent’s Honored Star Case: Panel # D-9

Gold Star Families Memorial Wall: Panel # 17

Illinois Police Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 3, Line 24

National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Wall: Panel # 39-E: 9

Officer Down Memorial Page: Listed



 Military Service: U.S. Army National Guard


Incident & Biographic Details

Patrolman Melvin Cohen, Star #7361, aged 38 years, was a 16 year, 3 month, 15 day veteran of the Chicago Police Department, assigned to the Bureau of Operational Services – Traffic Division (TD): Unit 085 – Traffic Area 5 Group.

On December 7, 1971, Officer Cohen was pursuing a speeding motorist. During the pursuit, Officer Cohen applied his brakes to avoid traffic and lost control of his 3-wheel motorcycle. After losing control he struck an elevated train pillar located at 4702 West Lake Street. The motorist being pursued was never located.

Officer Cohen was waked at Weinstein Brothers Chapel located at 1300 West Devon Avenue. He was laid to rest on December 9, 1971 in B’nai Jehoshua Cemetery, 6600 West Addison Street, Chicago, Illinois.

Patrolman Melvin Cohen, born December 22, 1932, received his Probationary Appointment to the Chicago Police Department on August 22, 1955. He earned 1 Credible Mention, 4 Honorable Mentions and numerous Complimentary Letters during his career.

Officer Cohen served in the U.S. Army National Guard as a Sergeant in the 106th Calvary, 33rd Infantry Brigade. He was survived by his wife, Minnette (nee Sabath); children: Jodie Sue, age 3 and Steven, age 1; mother, Bessie (nee Marochnick) and siblings: Annie and Sylvia. He was preceded in death by his father, Sam.

On March 2, 2010, Officer Cohen’s star was retired by Superintendent Jody P. Weis and enshrined in the Superintendent’s Honored Star Case, located in the lobby at Chicago Police Headquarters, 3510 South Michigan Avenue.