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Killed in the Line of Duty 61 Years Ago Today

Fallen Officer
May 23, 2012 — The Salt Lake City Police Department today remembers the loss of one its own: Sergeant Owen T. Farley, killed in the line of duty May 23, 1951.

Sergeant Farley was shot and killed by a robbery suspect. The 37-year-old father of three had staked out a car parked near 300 South State Street, a car investigators believed was used in an Ogden robbery. When a man and a woman returned to the vehicle, Farley arrested them.

Because his police car had vapor-locked, the suspect’s car was used for transportation. The male suspect was handcuffed and placed in the middle of the front seat, with the female passenger on his right.

As Farley was driving northbound near 260 South State, the male suspect secured a handgun hidden in the seat and shot the victim in the stomach. He died a short time later at a hospital.

The male suspect was found hiding in a business at 500 S. Main. The female suspect was arrested in Wendover. She testified against the male suspect, who was subsequently executed by firing squad in 1955.

Sergeant Farley was married and the father of three children. He is buried in Heber City Cemetery. Earlier this month, the Salt Lake City Police Department, the SLCPD History Project, sponsors Tim and Padma Collings, and the Farley family installed a bronze plaque marking the site where Farley paid the ultimate price in service to the community.

If you have memories or photos of Sergeant Farley to share, please email or call (801) 799-3340. To learn more about our Fallen Officers, please visit our Fallen Officers page.