IN MEMORIAM

ELWOOD L. RIDGE


Police Officer Elwood L. Ridge

ELWOOD RIDGE was born on May 21, 1944. He grew up in the the lower end of Camden County. His father owned the White Horse Motel on the White Horse Pike, and "Woody" Ridge lived there as a boy. He joined the Camden Police Department August 9, 1968. On July 2, 1973 he died in the line of duty.

Officer Ridge, known to his brother officers as "Woody", was killed by gunshot wound from his own weapon which was taken from him while answering to a domestic dispute assignment. While attempting to separate the two offenders Officer Ridge's handgun was taken from his holster and he was shot. 

Officer Montell Williams was the first officer on the scene after was shot. He related in November of 2002:

"Woody was never dispatched to the domestic but drove up on it at the corner of Broadway and Van Hook Street. After being shot he walked across the street to Rudolph's Original Liquors and asked for help. The man inside helped him lay down and loosened his clothes to aid his breathing then called the police.

Three of us arrived almost simultaneously at the scene, there was me and my partner Bill Athey and Woody's normal partner Chet DeShields. Chet and Woody were more than just regular partners, they were very close friends even off duty."

A large funeral was held for officer Ridge. The Philadelphia Police Department provided manpower for traffic duty to free up Camden officers so they could attend the funeral 

The shooter, Derrick Butler, was arrested by Philadelphia police for throwing bottles at cars and then bragged to them that he had just killed a Camden police officer. Derrick Butler  was sentenced to life in prison.

Officer Ridge was married, with no children. His wife was about four months pregnant at the time of his death. 


Trenton Times - July 3, 1973

Camden Police at Officer Elwood Ridge's funeral service, St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral on Federal Street in East Camden. Officers in this photograph include Larry Worrell, Spencer Smith, Ed Borman, Sgt H. Harris, Chris Yeager, David Henry, Sgt. J. Snyder


Camden Police at Officer Elwood Ridge's funeral service,
St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral on Federal Street in East Camden. 


Camden Police at Officer Elwood Ridge's funeral service, St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral on Federal Street in East Camden. The Esst CAmden Post Office, directly across the street from the church, is in the background. This is Sgt. Al Randazzo and members of Elwood's Platoon and Partner.


 

 

 

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