Patrolman William J. Waterson

Patrolman William J. Waterson

Clark Township Police Department, New Jersey

End of Watch Sunday, July 4, 1971

Add to My Heroes

William J. Waterson

Patrolman William Waterson was shot and killed after he and his partner interrupted a robbery in progress at a motel on Central Avenue, next to the Garden State Parkway.

The suspect fled on foot to a nearby parking lot, where he ambushed Patrolman Waterson as he searched the area.

The suspect was arrested 25 years later but acquitted at trial.

Patrolman Waterson was a United States Vietnam War veteran and served with the Clark Township Police Department for three years. He was survived by his parents, one brother, and one sister.


  • Age 24
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 19

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Acquitted; deceased

ambush, burglary

Most Recent Reflection

View all 29 Reflections

Thinking of Officer Waterson on another Independence Day - A day of celebration. I reflect back on this day in 1971. Your day was filled with thoughts of protecting the community, when the rest of the town was celebrating. My thoughts go to you and your family, and how the meaning of this day instantly changed. As a long time resident of Clark, and on behalf of the whole town this so many years later, know that we all think of you and ensure your legacy lives on.

Clark Resident

Rosario Parisi
Clark resident

July 4, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.