William Robert Fortye

End of Watch : October 28, 1966

Department: Las Vegas Metropolitan, Nevada, P.D.
William Robert Fortye joined the Las Vegas Police Department on October 10, 1961.
To say that “Bill” was a good policeman would be an understatement. He had an almost uncanny ability to
spot something wrong. He called it a “hunch” and most of the time his hunches paid off.
After two years in the Uniform Division, he transferred to the K-9 Corp where he and his K-9 partner
“Burgie” proved to be outstanding crime fighters. They received numerous commendations for
apprehending criminals and stopping a great number of crimes before they could be successfully
executed. On one occasion, Officer Fortye apprehended a robber as he was choking a woman at a local
motel. He probably saved her life.
Bill Fortye was well liked by his fellow officers and was the kind of man who wanted to help people. He
requested to work in the Juvenile Division and was scheduled to transfer there at the time of his death. In
his request for transfer he wrote, “While being assigned to the K-9 Division and working alone, I have
been able to fully understand what we will be facing in the future with our younger generation in trying to
introduce them into proper adulthood, not only in correcting them in their wrongs, but guiding them to a
more abundant life ahead.”
He never got to fulfill that desire. At 0220 hours, on October 28, 1966, Officer Fortye radioed that he was
stopping a northbound car on Highland Drive. There was nothing to indicate that it was anything but a
routine stop. Ten minutes later, he was dead.
The first officers to arrive found Officer Fortye lying alongside his patrol car, his dog standing faithfully by
his side. His assailant, in a savage struggle with the officer, had pulled Bill’s gun from it’s holster and fired
three times.
Before the killer fled, however, Fortye’s police dog “Burgie” attacked the suspect, ripping the man’s
clothing and mauling his hand.
The killer was captured a short time later. Officer Bill Fortye, a five year veteran, died at the age of 32.
He was survived by his wife and six year old daughter.

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