Retired Police Officer Finally Honored

SEPTEMBER 2002
- Shot During 1957 Holdup - Retired Cambridge police Captain Alfred Lange received an unexpected
surprise this June, when he was honored in a surprise ceremony at
Cambridge City Hall.

Lange, 80, had
survived a gunshot wound to the chest during a holdup of an A&P
supermarket way back in 1957, when he was a sergeant.

When
he and his partner, William Doyle, were sent to the supermarket, Lange
held his fire for fear of hitting an employee and as a result when the
robber opened fire Lange was hit in the chest three inches from his
heart. In an ensuing gun battle the robber escaped. The assailant was
never captured.

Lange's friends tell
us that he was driven to the hospital in a police cruiser and made it a
point to walk into the hospital on his own despite the serious wound.
It was only then that he began to collapse and needed help.

As
soon as Alfred recovered and was back on his feet he quickly returned
to his job without any great fanfare. "That's the way it was in those
days," he said. "Get back into action as soon as you recover. We had a
lot of pride."

As an Air Force
veteran of World War II, Lange saw considerable action in Europe, but
the modest ex-cop plays it down just as he brushes off his near-death
experience. He did offer that he thinks the A&P shooter is now
serving life in Walpole for the killing of another police officer.

Surprise Ceremony

It
was his son David Lange, a Nashua NH police officer, who initiated this
June's presentation to our long time Association member.

"He
never received anything for being wounded and we asked Mayor Sullivan
if he would do something and he was awesome," said David Lange. "It was
a complete surprise to my father." Another son, Frank, who is a
Middlesex County Deputy Sheriff, was also involved.

Lange, who is now 80, retired in 1987 after 38 years with the department.

"It
was a complete surprise," said Lange, who was honored in the City
Council chamber with a medal from the city, draped over his neck by his
wife, Theresa. "I was overcome to be honest, but it was a great
feeling, and still is."

In addition
to Lange's family, including his six grandchildren, a large number of
retired Cambridge police officers who served with him were on hand for
the ceremony.

"They're glad he's finally going to be recognized," said David Lange. "He still stays real close to the guys he retired with."

Lange's
daughter, Lucille Lyle, who was 10 when her father was shot, said she
has never been able to get over erroneous television reports that her
father was pronounced dead on arrival after his partner drove him to
the hospital. "He's alive and he's a strong 80 years old," his daughter
said. "He's been a good father. We all love him."

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