N.H. officer who died over a century ago to be added to national memorial
Officer Frank Dustin died May 20, 1918, while pursuing a man who was allegedly exposing himself at a park
By Paul Feely
The New Hampshire Union Leader
MANCHESTER, N.H. — A Manchester police officer who died pursuing a suspect more than a century ago will have his name added to the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial next year.
Officer Frank Dustin, 57, died May 20, 1918, while chasing after a man who was allegedly exposing himself in Stark Park in the city's North End. The story of his death had been largely lost to history until earlier this year, when Manchester police found a box in a closet at police headquarters on Valley Street containing old newspaper clippings detailing the incident.
Manchester Police Chief Allen Aldenberg couldn't believe what he was seeing.
"I was like, 'Holy cow, how did this get missed?'" said Aldenberg.
Boxes of historical items from the department's archives were sent across town when Manchester police relocated from their former headquarters on Chestnut Street to their location at 405 Valley St. in January 2013.
The items were stored in a closet and forgotten until earlier this year, when Aldenberg was moving a few people around between offices.
"I peeked in the closet and was like, 'what are we doing with all this cool, historical stuff?'" said Aldenberg.
The discovery sparked an idea, and he contacted John Clayton, Director of Community Relations at Manchester Historic Association, who came by and started looking over and cataloging the items.
"The hope is to have an MPD display at the Millyard Museum," said Aldenberg. He said such a display may happen sometime around spring 2023.
Manchester police Lt. Derek Cataldo and Gary Desruisseaux, a retired Manchester cop who still does work for the department, took the clippings about Officer Dustin's death and sent them off to the National Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, D.C., in the hopes of having his name added.
This week, Aldenberg received confirmation Dustin's name will be added to the D.C. memorial on May 13, 2023. Manchester police are now applying to have his name added to the New Hampshire Law Enforcement Officers' Memorial in Concord.
"It is critically important that we make every effort to accurately capture the history of the Manchester Police Department," said Aldenberg. "Especially as it relates to people like Officer Dustin who made the ultimate sacrifice for the city of Manchester."
The department is also planning to have Dustin's name added to a memorial outside police headquarters and to a display inside the building's lobby, honoring four other Manchester officers who died in the line of duty — Officer Michael Briggs in 2006, Officer Ralph Miller in 1976, Inspector William Moher in 1921, and Sgt. Henry McAllister in 1895.
According to newspaper reports at the time, on the day of his death Officer Dustin had completed his shift and was tending to his war memorial garden, also known as a "Victory Garden," in Stark Park when he learned a man identified as Michael Georgou was allegedly exposing himself nearby.
According to published reports, Dustin — a 21-year veteran of the department — approached Georgou, who ran and a foot chase began. Near the entrance of the park, Dustin collapsed, suffered a heart attack and died. He was survived by his wife, four nieces, and one nephew. Georgou was later arrested.
Officer Dustin was one of the first patrol drivers for the Manchester Police Department. He was appointed driver of the horse patrol on Jan. 25, 1897. With the introduction of the motor vehicle, he was given a beat and patrolled various sections of the city until May 1, 1918, when he was assigned to take care of the department's vehicles in the city barn.
Manchester police are unsure if Dustin has any living relatives.
"By all accounts it appears he did not have any children," said Aldenberg. "Maybe he had a brother who had kids, or a sister, aunts or uncles. We'd love to connect with them."
Relatives of Officer Dustin are asked to call Lt. Derek Cataldo at 603- 792-5474 or email him at email@example.com.
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