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Cornelius News

Fallen Cornelius policeman honored after 75 years

Feb. 7. By Dave Yochum. A Cornelius Police officer killed in the line of duty 75 years ago ​will finally be recognized ​on​ the North Carolina Department of Justice roster of fallen officers.

Ralph Alcorn White

Officer Ralph Alcorn​ ​White​, who died on Dec. 31, 1942, was 40 years old when he was electrocuted while responding to a call.

​A p​atrolman​, ​White came into contact with a downed power line near the intersection of Catawba Avenue and modern day Main Street.

​Back in 1942, t​he duties of Cornelius police officers also included restoring power to the town following storms.​ ​

Meanwhile, Hitler was in power in Germany, Hirohito in Japan. The British destroyer Achates sank in the Battle of the Barents Sea Dec. 31, 1942.

​On this particular New Year’s Eve, there was no ball drop in Times Square.​ Instead there was  a moment of silence for the troops fighting in World War II​.

And White was on duty in Cornelius.​

A strong storm had knocked out power​ near the textile mill in the center of town. Officer White got the call, arrived on the scene and ​came in contact with​ a line​ that​ had been previously cut and left bare​ at a water pump that provided water to the mill.​

He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

​He left a wife and three children​, including daughter Betty Moore, who is now 87 years old. Cornelius ​Detective Sergeant Tracy Crosby, Detective Corporal Dan Waltman, Detective Brad Nichols and Detective Gina Patterson researched th​e ​incident and ​found Betty​ ​in Mooresville.

​Her father ​has also been added to the National Officer Down Memorial Page, a non-profit organization dedicated to honoring America’s fallen law enforcement heroes​: http://www.odmp.org/officer/23551-patrolman-ralph-alcorn-white

The Cornelius Police Department plans to continue to research Officer White and honor his service to the town.