On Saturday, November 18, the City of Newburgh Superior Officer’s Association and City of Newburgh Police Benevolent Association will be hosting a memorial ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of the line of duty death of City of Newburgh Police Officer William Robinson at Woodlawn Cemetery, 93 Union Avenue, New Windsor starting at 10 a.m.
Some of the officers who were on duty with him that evening will also be in attendance at the ceremony, as well as area Chiefs of Police, O.C. Sheriff Paul Arteta, County Executive Steve Neuhaus, Newburgh Mayor Torrence Harvey and other local dignitaries.
Following the cemetery ceremony, at 12 p.m. the Town of Newburgh will be hosting a street naming ceremony at the Meadow Winds Community Center to commemorate Betanzos Way and Bill Robinson Way. All retired and current members of service are welcome to attend.
Robinson was shot and killed on November 18, 1973, while responding to a domestic disturbance in which a man was beating his wife. The suspect holed up inside his house and engaged officers in a shootout. Officer Robinson was fatally struck as he took cover behind his patrol car. It took several minutes for help to reach Officer Robinson. The suspect, 23, was arrested at the scene.
On October 9, 1975, the suspect was convicted of murder and sentenced from 25 years to life.
Robinson was a veteran of the U.S. Marine Corps and had served with the Newburgh City Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife and two sons.
Officer Robert Betanzos succumbed to injuries sustained on July 4, 1977 when he was struck by a hit-and-run driver while directing traffic at the city’s waterfront following Fourth of July activities. A vehicle that was waiting in traffic sped around the stopped vehicles and into the intersection of Renwick Street and Water Street, striking Betanzos.
The suspect continued to flee at high speed. He was taken into custody after striking two additional cars and injuring 10 people.
Betanzos was transported to a local hospital and then transferred to St. Francis Hospital in Poughkeepsie. He remained at St. Francis Hospital until succumbing to his injuries on July 12.
The suspect was charged with second degree manslaughter.