Waukesha police honor fallen officer
WAUKESHA – April 28th, 1994. It was a day that shook the City of Waukesha.
Captain James Lutz lost his life trying to stop two bank robbers as they attempted to flee from police through Waukesha County.
"He died protecting his fellow officers, and the citizens which he swore to protect,” explained Chief Russell Jack.
At the Waukesha Police Department, Lutz was a pioneer. He was a firearms expert, a detective, and he helped found the city's SWAT team.
“His futuristic thinking and persistent attitude convinced the department that a swat team was essential for the safety of officers and citizens during high-risk incidents,” Jack said.
Never was that more true than on the day he died.
A father and son went on a rampage after robbing a bank in Wales that spring day. Lutz gave chase.
Soon after, the crooks stopped, got out of their car, and shot Lutz.
“They wanted to kill a cop," explained retired Officer Tom Fletcher, who was on the scene when Lutz was killed.
"It's something you'll never forget. You can't see somebody murdered like that for no reason whatsoever and not think about it,” Fletcher said.
At a memorial service Monday, speakers focused not on how Lutz died, but how he lived. They honored his dedication to his job by naming the department’s training facilities after him. The department also lowered its flags to half staff and held a moment of silence in Lutz’s honor.