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Hero Down: NYPD Sgt. William ‘Bill’ Brautigam Succumbs To 9/11-Related Cancer

Stony Point, NY – New York Police Department (NYPD) Sergeant William “Bill” Brautigam died in the line of duty on Jan. 31, following a battle against cancer that developed after his service at the World Trade Center terrorist attacks on Sep. 11, 2001.

Sgt. Brautigam, 47, succumbed to colon cancer at his home while surrounded by his family, according to his obituary.

He joined the NYPD on July 2, 2001 and was attending the police academy when he and his fellow recruits were mobilized to respond to the aftermath of the terrorist attacks.

“William was a member of the ‘9/11 class’ in our Academy,” NYPD Commissioner Dermot Shea told the New York Daily News in the wake of the veteran officer’s death. “When the attacks occurred just two months later, William, like thousands of his classmates and colleagues throughout the department, answered the call.”

“Now, nearly 20 years after that horrific time in our nation’s history, his strength continues to lead us — and we vow to never forget him or his immense sacrifice,” Commissioner Shea said.

Sgt. Brautigam was assigned to the 33rd Precinct at the start of his career, and later served with the Patrol Borough Manhattan North, the New York Daily News reported.

He earned his detective shield while working in the Vice Enforcement Division, and later served at the Narcotics Borough Manhattan North.

After being promoted to the rank of sergeant, he returned to the 33rd Precinct as a field intelligence officer, the New York Daily News reported.

“For the past four years, he was assigned to the Criminal Enterprise Investigative Section,” Commissioner Shea told the paper. “And for more than 2 years of that, he bravely fought the illness that ultimately claimed the life of another NYPD hero.”

The commissioner said Sgt. Brautigam made nearly 700 arrests during his years of service, and received 25 department recognitions, the New York Daily News reported.

Sgt. Brautigam leaves behind his wife of 18 years, Susan, and his sons, Billy and Kevin, according to his obituary.

“Anyone that knew Bill, knew that he had a heart of gold, always worked hard and put his family first,” the tribute read. “The love he had for his boys was tremendous.”

He is also survived by his mother, sisters, in-laws, and many nieces, nephews, and cousins.

Sgt. Brautigam will be laid to rest on Tuesday.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of New York Police Department Sergeant William “Bill” Brautigam, both blood and blue. Thank you for your service.

Rest easy, hero. We’ll hold the line from here.

Written by
Holly Matkin

Holly is a former probation and parole officer who is married to a sheriff’s deputy. She is a regular contributor to Signature Montana magazine, and has written feature articles for Distinctly Montana magazine.

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Written by Holly Matkin


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