Tuesday, December 06, 2022

Joplin police officer killed in line of duty 43 years ago today

(From the Joplin Police Department)

Today we remember and honor Joplin Patrolman Paul Wesley Harlan, who died on December 6th, 1979 while serving the citizens of Joplin. Please join us as we honor his sacrifice and service to our community.

Patrolman Paul Harlan succumbed to injuries sustained on Thanksgiving Day, November 22nd, 1979, when he was involved in a crash at the intersection of Main Street and Murphy Boulevard during a high-speed pursuit.

He was pursuing a juvenile who had been involved in an earlier hit-and-run crash when both vehicles went out of control and struck a brick wall. The juvenile fled the scene on foot but was arrested in Texas on November 29th, 1979, and extradited to Missouri.

Patrolman Harlan was transported to a local hospital where he succumbed to his injuries on December 6th, 1979.

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