CLARK, NJ – The Clark Police Department paid tribute to Patrolman William J. Waterson on Wednesday morning who was killed in the line of duty 47 years ago on July 4. The ceremony, held on the front lawn of the Clark Police Department, was attended by Waterson’s family, current and retired police officers, and members of the community.
“It’s just very nice that they still remember [my brother] since it was so long ago,” Ginny Black, Waterson’s sister, told TAPinto Clark. Waterson’s nephew, who currently works for the Point Pleasant Borough Police Department, was also in attendance.
This year’s ceremony was hosted by Clark P.B.A. President Michael Ciaccio and State Delegate Maz Elwardany. Elwardany, a Detective in Clark, also lowered the flag outside the police station to half-mast in remembrance of Waterson.
Deacon Ed Campanella from St. John the Apostle Church then led an Invocation Prayer to honor Waterson’s legacy. “We gather to pay our deepest honor to those officers killed in the line of duty, in particular 25-year-old Patrolman William J. Waterson,” said Campanella. “May those who are still serving remember the well price paid.”
At the conclusion of the ceremony, attendees were invited to a reception at the Holiday Inn in Clark also hosted by the Clark P.B.A.
According to the Clark Township Police Department, Waterson was shot on July 3, 1971 while pursuing a suspect at the former Howard Johnson hotel, where the ShopRite of Clark currently stands. Waterson died the following day on July 4, becoming the only Clark police officer to be killed in the line of duty.
In honor of Waterson, Clark Police Department’s front lawn is named “Patrolman William J. Waterson Memorial Recreation Field.” It features a monument dedicated to Waterson and officers who have retired from the Clark Police Department.
Waterson, who wore shield #211, is also the namesake of the Waterson Memorial Range House used by Clark police, as well as Waterson Drive in Clark, which provides entrance to the Clark Public Library and Police Headquarters.