Philadelphia Officer Kat Battle Remembered as Dedicated Servant, Neighbor
“I was depressed all day Saturday when I got the page and they told me she passed away,” says Commissioner Charles Ramsey, on receiving the news that Officer Kathryn Battle, 57, had died of breast cancer. “When I first got [the news], I text messaged the head of Homicide. I didn’t want to put down the words ‘I heard she had passed.’ … I couldn’t bring myself to type the words.”
Officer Battle, or Kat, as she was known to friends, was many things to many people. In 2010, PW profiled Battle in a cover story that expanded the woefully insufficient information relayed by her formal title as victim’s assistance officer. Technically, her job was to help families of murder victims fill out the paperwork necessary to claim state funds toward funeral and burial expenses. Though working in a world of death, Battle was full of life: She lifted these families up, served as their therapist and friend. They loved her, too.
To me, Battle was more than a cop and profile subject. She was my neighbor. The police department lost an outstanding officer and the city a dedicated servant. What we lost was her smile while pulling into the garage and her laugh, which would burst through the wall, ringing loud as a church bell. Even while she was sick, that laugh would ring and we’d think: Good, she’s all right. Rest in peace, Kat.