A memorial is being dedicated near Waterloo today (Friday) to honor an Iowa State trooper who died in the line of duty more than 20 years ago. On June 16th, 1985, Trooper Charles Whitney was killed while working on a Black Hawk County speed enforcement project, just east of Waterloo.
Patrol spokesman John Baber says Whitney was issuing a citation to a motorist when the accident happened. The accident happened on Interstate 380 when a driver, who apparently fell asleep at the wheel, hit Whitney on the roadside — two weeks before Whitney was to retire. Twenty-one years has passed since the fatal mishap. During that time, Baber says fellow troopers have been working to raise money to build a memorial that will honor Whitney and his career in law enforcement.
Baber says the money has been raised by the troopers’ association over many years through country-western shows. A memorial marble bench is being placed in a park next to a small lake in Evansdale at a site near where the accident happened. A public dedication will take place at 10:30 A.M. Baber says several dignitaries plan to attend the ceremony.
The State Patrol honor guard will be there, the commissioner of Public Safety, Iowa Patrol Colonel Robert Garrison, and the original pastor who conducted Whitney’s eulogy, as well as many friends and relatives from around the Midwest. Statistics show between 150 and 165 police officers are killed nationally in the line of duty each year.