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The original item was published from 4/20/2023 11:45:07 AM to 5/3/2023 12:00:06 PM.

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Posted on: April 20, 2023

[ARCHIVED] County Marks Centennial Anniversary of Fallen Detective

George Knapp, deputy detective, killed in the line of duty May 3, 1923.

HONESDALE -– The Wayne County Commissioners, along with the District Attorney and County Detectives, mark the 100th anniversary of the death in the line of duty of George B. Knapp, a deputy County Detective.

Knapp, who had served as chief constable of Honesdale prior to being named as deputy, was fatally shot during a raid on a moonshine operation near Equinunk on May 3, 1923. Detective John Curran was also shot several times by Wesley Decker, who was allegedly running an illegal liquor operation.

Knapp is the only law enforcement officer to die in the line of duty in Wayne County. Curran recovered from serious injuries and returned to duty in October of that year.

Current Wayne County Detective Robert Langman has planned a brief memorial service on Tuesday, May 3, 2023 to honor Knapp, whose story was uncovered last year when Eagle Scout John Rodriguez organized the naming of the Courthouse access road for the fallen officer.

The service will include a brief narrative of the events of that day, some remarks by local officials, the playing of Taps and a moment of silence. Law enforcement officers throughout the region are invited to attend the memorial.

Knapp spent much of his 62 years in Wayne County, living in Damascus. He moved for a time to Forest City, where he married the former Phoebe Skinner and served on the police force. He spent two years with the Honesdale Borough Police Department before taking over a shuttle service between Honesdale and Narrowsburg, NY, which he operated until his death.

“Frequently, however, he was called upon to run down moonshiners and he never shirked this dangerous task,” said a May 8, 1923 article regarding Knapp’s funeral.   Newspaper articles recount Knapp’s involvement in successful raids in March and September of 1922.

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