Indianapolis, IN - Indianapolis Metro Police Deputy Chief James "Jim" Waters died Thursday afternoon, July 27, after being seriously injured in a traffic crash. He was off-duty at the time.
The incident occurred on Sunday, July 23, about 1 PM, on I-70 near the State Road 267 intersection, according to Fox59. Deputy Chief Waters was traveling east on I-70, in his unmarked police vehicle, when the rear of his vehicle was struck by a tractor-trailer.
Fire department officials said that there may have been some type of debris in the right lane of travel on I-70, which caused him to either slow down and/or stop. An off-duty IMPD officer came upon the collision and rendered aid to Deputy Chief Waters. The driver of the tractor-trailer was not injured.
Deputy Chief Waters, age 48, joined IMPD in 1990 as a uniformed patrol officer, and served 30 years, both as a civilian and as an officer. During his service with the Indianapolis Metro Police Department, Deputy Chief Waters served in many different assignments, including Commander of East District from 2011-2014 and Assistant Chief from 2014-2017.
In January, 2017, he had been appointed Deputy Chief of Investigations by Police Chief Bryan Roach.
Chief Roach said, "Jim has served with nobility, dignity, honor, and courage. Jim comes from a long family lineage of courageous law enforcement leaders. His presence will surely be missed, but his distinguished career and service to this community will be forever remembered.”
Deputy Chief Waters received many awards throughout his service, including the Medal of Bravery, the Mayor’s Community Service Award, and a Certificate of Commendation from the Red Cross Hall of Fame.
In a statement, Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett said:
"It is with heavy hearts that my entire family and I offer our condolences to the family of IMPD Deputy Chief Jim Waters.
Chief Waters comes from a long line of public servants and dedicated his life to serving Indianapolis. He worked tirelessly to build bridges between the police department he served and the community he loved.
His untimely passing is nothing short of a tragedy, but the countless officers who worked beside Chief Waters know the legacy he leaves behind will continue to inspire generations of public safety and neighborhood leaders.
Effective immediately, I am asking that Marion County flags be flown at half-staff, and Steph and I ask the entire Indianapolis community to keep Chief Waters’ family – including his brothers and sisters in blue at IMPD – in their thoughts and prayers during this difficult time."
Cards, flowers, or letters of condolences may be sent to the IMPD Chaplin’s Office, 50 N. Alabama Street, Suite T-120, Indianapolis, Indiana, 46204.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family of IMPD Deputy Chief James Waters and his family, both blood and blue. Godspeed, sir, we will take the watch from here. Thank you for your service.
Deputy Chief Waters, your life mattered.