Chesapeake, Virginia Police Department
End of Watch: October 8, 2005
In 1960, Baltimore, Maryland was the place to go to see one of the greatest quarterbacks of all time – Johnny Unitas. His consistent, dependable incredible manner kept crowds on their feet. He was a joy to watch.
That same year, on April 25 in Baltimore, Charles and Anita Saffran gave birth to a son, Michael Kevin Saffran. Michael grew up there, and attended Edmondsen High School, graduating in 1978.
He joined the U. S. Navy and gave 20 years of his life serving his country. When he retired, he lived in Hampton Roads, Virginia. But he still felt that he wanted to serve. So he became a police officer with the Chesapeake Police Department.
Although the city itself is not very old, the first English settlement in that location began around 1620 along the banks of the beautiful Elizabeth River. The area is a magnet for visitors year-round.
In eleven months, Michael had made it to detective, which is what he was doing on October 8, 2005 – seventeen years ago today.
An emergency call came over the radio regarding a bank robbery. Of course he knew, like all of the responding officers did, that most bank robberies turn out to be false alarms, but he didn’t let his guard down. As he arrived, he saw a vehicle leaving the scene at a high rate of speed, so he began chasing it.
The chase didn’t last long. The suspect vehicle crashed a short distance away. The officers arrived within seconds. The suspect pulled a female hostage from the car to selfishly shield himself. But the hostage broke free from him. Gunfire erupted. When it was finished, the suspect was dead, Officer Saffran and the female hostage were shot. They were rushed to Norfolk General Hospital where Officer Saffran died shortly thereafter.
He left behind a wife and two children.