Alexandria Police Foundation

Profiles of Courage

Corporal Charles W. Hill, 1989

Corporal Charles W. Hill

Charles W. Hill was born on February 22, 1949, and grew up on Long Island in Suffolk County, New York. As a teen, he met his future wife there, and shortly after they married, he became a New York City police officer. But New York City faced financial problems in the 1970s and when Chuck, as he was known to his family, was laid off, he found another job out of state. On August 2, 1976, he became an Alexandria police officer.

Charlie, as he was called by his fellow officers, worked as a patrol officer and soon in specialized positions, as a Field Training Officer and an Identification Technician. He joined the Special Operations Team, a tactical response unit, and in 1980, he became the firearms instructor at the police range. In January of 1982, he was promoted to corporal.

In the late afternoon of March 22, 1989, Corporal Hill was partnered with Officer Andrew M. Chelchowski when the Special Operations Team was called to the 300 block of Hopkins Court. Jamie M. Wise, a 34-year-old escapee from a Washington, D.C., halfway house, had taken hostages inside a home to collect a drug debt.

At 6:35 p.m., Wise emerged, holding a sawed-off shotgun to the head of a teenaged hostage. A police marksman fired and hit Wise. But Wise, high on drugs, fired twice before other officers opened fire. Wise was dead, but his two shots hit Corporal Hill in the head and Officer Chelchowski in the legs. Corporal Hill was taken to Washington Hospital Center where he was pronounced dead at 8:15 p.m.

The police range and a park in Del Ray were later named in honor of Corporal Hill.

Corporal Hill, age 40, was survived by his wife Virginia, their sons Charles and Robert, and his mother. His remains were cremated. A park in Del Ray was named in his memory

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