Francis Ryan

1891 - 1922

One of the State Highway Police's brave officers was Officer Francis Ryan, the first State Police Officer to die in the line of duty. While attempting to apprehend a speeding motorist on the Philadelphia Pike, October 17, 1922, Officer Ryan's motocycle was struck by a vehicle traveling in the opposite direction. Severly injured, Officer Ryan was taken to a local doctor for immediate treatment. He subsequently was taken to Delaware Hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on November 2, 1922. Francis Ryan was buried in Glebe Cemetery, Old New Castle, Delaware.

The Delaware State Police dates its inception to April 28, 1923. It is sometimes forgotten that, as with many organizations, the present evolves from a precursor. So it is with our organization. It had its beginnings in 1919 with the Delaware State Highway Police. Officer Ryan was born December 7, 1891 and at the age of 31 joined the Highway Police in the summer of 1922.