Police Officer Edward C. Stevens

1943 - 1971
Albany Police Department
Traffic Safety Division
Gunshot Wound

On Friday 11-26-1971 at 9:21 AM, P.O. Stevens and two other officers arrived at 120 Chestnut Street, Albany, to assist Raymond Fish (a driver for and co-owner of Capital District Ambulance) in taking Wanda Courtley (a 36-year old emotionally disturbed person) into custody for transportation to the Hudson River State Hospital in Poughkeepsie, NY. Courtley said she was not going with them and calmly closed the basement stairwell. Fish looked through a window and saw Courtley pointing a rifle toward the door. Fish warned the others and they all tried to get away from the front of the door. Courtley then fired a 7.65-mm rifle shot through the window. The bullet grazed Fish across the back of his head, then slammed into the neck of Officer Stevens, severing his spinal column. Fish was treated and released. Stevens died at Albany Medical Center Hospital at 12:21 PM. Courtley surrendered to Detective Francis Murphy.

It was later learned that Courtley believed she was the Queen of England and that Fish and the officers were trying to invade her castle. She was charged with murder but found not guilty by reason of insanity.

P.O. Stevens, 28, lived at 308 Northern Blvd., Albany NY. He was a 7-year police veteran, having been sworn in 1964. From 1964-68, he worked out of Division Two. He was then transferred to Traffic Safety where he worked until his death. Stevens had been married 5-months earlier, in June 1971, and his wife, Rose Marie, was 3 months pregnant with their only child (Edward Charles, Jr., born May 14, 1972). Stevens had attended the Vincentian Institute High School for 3-1/2 years (where he was a classmate of Thomas McAvoy, son of Sgt. Thomas McAvoy, who was shot and killed in 1964). Stevens graduated from Albany High School in 1961. He was a veteran of the US Naval Reserves, having served 2-years active duty.

Survivors included his widow, Rose Marie Barbato Stevens; father, Edward J. Stevens; mother, Grace McCard Stevens; three brothers, William F., Richard J., and James R.; and two sisters, Nancy Elia and Sharyn Frambach Pallozzi; nephew, Christopher E. Frambach. Today, P.O. Stevens is also survived by his son, Edward Jr., a graphic artist working in Colonie, NY, and Ed’s wife, Laura, a pre-K teacher at Albany Academy. Stevens also has 4 nieces and 5 additional nephews. Steven’s funeral was on Monday 11-29-1971 (as the City of Albany grieved the loss of Sgt. McNeil, killed less than 12 hours earlier) from Magin & Keegan Funeral Home, to Saint Vincent DePaul's Church, Madison Avenue, Albany NY. He was buried in St. Agnes Cemetery.

It is tradition in Albany to name the police K-9 dogs after officers KILD. K-9 “Ed” had been named after Officer Edward Stevens. K-9 “Ed” served the City well, receiving many commendations during his tour of duty. K-9 “Ed” died in 1999 but he set the standards by which all further K-9 officers are expected to meet to be accepted.