The former Waterloo Chief of Police has lost his son in the line of duty over the weekend.

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Joel Fitzgerald, Waterloo's former Police Chief stepped down from his position in August of 2022.

Waterloo's first black police chief began his work in the Cedar Valley during the heart of the pandemic. In 2020, he took over the department and lead it for two years. Fitzgerald assisted the city through the pandemic and nationwide police criticism.

During his tenure, he also had the Waterloo Police department change their insignia due to its similarity to a Ku Klux Klan griffin.

Joe Liebeld took over the position of Waterloo Chief of Police last year. Now, Fitzgerald is working as a police chief in Colorado.

Courtesy of City of Waterloo via YouTube
Courtesy of City of Waterloo via YouTube

Fitzgerald, a Pennsylvania native, is mourning the loss of his son. Christopher Fitzgerald, a Temple University Police Officer, died in the line of duty on Saturday night.

According to reports, February 18th, 2023, Officer Fitzgerald, was shot and killed during an incident investigation by the Temple campus in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

The suspect is 18-year old Miles Pfeffer, and Temple officials are saying that Ofc. Fitzgerald was shot while trying to apprehend a robbery suspect near campus. He was pronounced dead at Temple University Hospital, according to college officials.

University officials are saying this was the first ever fatality of a Temple Police Officer in campus history.

"There are simply no words that can make sense of this tragedy. It tears at our sense of community and safety.  We all mourn this unspeakable loss. "

Temple University's Vice President for Public Safety Jennifer D. Griffin said in a statement,

"Officer Fitzgerald gave his life to selflessly serve and defend this community. The courage and bravery he displayed highlights the day-to-day sacrifice made by our Temple University Police Officers to keep our community safe. This loss leaves an enormous hole in all of our hearts."

According to the Bucks County D.A.'s office, the suspect was apprehended at his home at 7:12 AM on Sunday morning. County authorities are working with the U.S. Marshals Service, the Philadelphia Police Department and Pennsylvania State Police on the case. As is police tradition, the suspect was handcuffed with the fallen officer's own cuffs and taken into custody.

Pfeffer is being charged with murder and murder of a law enforcement officer, according to reports.

Fitzgerald leaves behind his wife, four children, and both of his parents. He had been an officer at the college since October of 2021. His father, Joel Fitzgerald recently left the Waterloo Police Department for a job in Colorado.

We will continue to keep you updated as this story develops.

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