Dennis Griffin was appointed to the Cleveland Police Department on February 1, 1921.
On Friday, May 11, 1923, Patrolman Dennis Griffin arrested J.L. Whitfield, a suspect in the theft of thousands of spark plugs from the Reflex Ignition Company. He also was thought to have participated in two other hold-ups in East Cleveland.
Whitfield was arrested and searched in front of his home. He asked if he could enter his home to speak to his wife and change his clothes. Griffin followed Whitfield into the home but did not see Whitfield put a revolver into his pocket. Whitfield and Griffin left to return to Collinwood Police Station.
When Griffin and the suspect didn’t arrive at the station, Police Chief Graul commanded a search. Several tips and clues led police to a shallow grave near Kinsman Road which contained Griffin’s body. He had a bullet through the left side of his neck and a deep cut over his left eye. Whitfield was finally captured on June 26 in Detroit, Michigan.
Patrolman Griffin left a wife, Elizabeth, and a nine-month old son, Gerald Orrin Griffin. Services were held at the Nunn Funeral Home on East 89th Street and he was interred at Lake View Cemetery.