SJPD Fallen Officers

Officer Gordon Silva

Officer Robert Wirht

1945 - 1988

Killed in the Line of Duty September 8, 1988

We Honor the Sacrifice He Made

On September 8, 1988, Officer Wirht was assigned to the Traffic Enforcement Unit as a motor officer. He was considered by his peers to be one of the best riders on the department.  At approximately 2000 hours, Officer Wirht was conducting radar enforcement activities on San Felipe and Fowler Road.  Officer Wirht’s radar gun detected a car traveling north on San Felipe Road at an excessive speed. Officer Wirht pulled away from his position on the side of the road and began to accelerate after the vehicle.

Moments earlier, another vehicle stop was made just north of Officer Wirht’s position. As traffic approached the scene of the other car stop, drivers began to slow in order to pass safely. Unfortunately, a driver traveling in the number two lane did not observe the traffic slowing just ahead of her. In a last minute attempt to avoid a rear-end collision, the driver veered into the number one lane, and into Officer Wirht’s path. Officer Wirht attempted to stop, but his motorcycle collided with the rear of the vehicle. As a result of the collision, Officer Wirht suffered severe head trauma.  Officer Wirht was pronounced dead at the hospital shortly after his arrival.

Officer Wirht was the seventh San Jose Police Officer killed in the line of duty.

We would like to remember Robert Wirht with a moment of silence.

The City of San José is committed to open and honest government and strives to consistently meet the community's expectations by
providing excellent service, in a positive and timely manner, and in the full view of the public. Read more about the City Code of Ethics.