Police Officer James J. Rivers

Police Officer James J. Rivers

Milwaukee Police Department, Wisconsin

End of Watch Monday, March 21, 1966

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James J. Rivers

Officer James Rivers was shot and killed while responding to a robbery.

When he arrived at the scene, he observed the suspect entering a taxi cab and ordered him to stop. The suspect produced a 9-mm handgun and exchanged shots with Officer Rivers. Officer Rivers was struck in the head but was able to shoot the suspect as well, critically wounding him.

The suspect, 29, was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life on July 24, 1966. He received an additional 30 years for armed robbery. He was transferred to Central State Mental Hospital in 1972. He died in Winnebago Mental Hospital on July 1, 2004.

Officer Rivers had been with the Milwaukee Police Department for nine years. He was survived by his wife and two children.


  • Age 27
  • Tour 9 years
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun; 9 mm
  • Offender Died in mental hospital


Most Recent Reflection

View all 16 Reflections

Officer Rivers was my uncle Jim. He was a great man, a great brother to my mother and a friend to many. He was an excellent husband, father and police officer. He made me do push ups when he would visit our home. As a child I saw how my mother and father and all my siblings respected him. Great man gone too soon.

Dan Young

February 7, 2023

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