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: 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: 07 Dec 1971
End of Watch: 07 Dec 1971
Date of Interment: 09 Dec 1971
Cemetery: B'nai Jehoshua Cemetery - Chicago Illinois
Grave Location: Unknown
Interment Disposition: Burial
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: 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.