|Officer James McKinley Richardson II|
|End of Watch: April 22, 1977|
James M. Richardson II was born June 14, 1952 to James Richardson and Patricia Ayers-Richardson in McCook, Red Willow County, Nebraska.
James was a United States Army Vietnam Era Veteran, serving from May 6, 1971 until February 5, 1974, discharged as a Sergeant.
He began his law enforcement career shortly after separating from the service in Rawlins County, Kansas as a Deputy Sheriff. He served a brief stint as a police officer in McCook, Nebraska for about six months before becoming an Officer with the York Police Department in June 1976.
On Friday April 22, 1977, Officer Richardson worked the 1500 to 2300 hours shift. At about 2230 hours, just a half hour from going off duty, Officer Richardson was responding to a report of shots fired in the 1400 block of N. Blackburn Avenue. The shooter was shooting at his own residence with a .22 caliber rifle from the parking lot of the Arbor Drive Baptist Church, just across the street. Officer Richardson parked on the west side of the street across from the residence where the gunfire was reported. Officer Richardson exited his cruiser and was on foot in the front lawn of the Arbor Drive Baptist Church. When Sergeant Ron Dickerson responded as back up, Officer Richardson was already laying on the lawn, having been shot by a .22 caliber hollow point round fired by the shooter. Officer Richardson was struck a half inch above his bullet proof vest and succumbed to his wound swiftly. Officer Richardson was about to begin his training for state certification on the Monday after the shooting.
On Monday April 25, 1977, a Memorial Service was held at the Church of the Nazarene in York, Nebraska. It was attended by over one hundred officers from around the state of Nebraska. His funeral was held April 26, 1977 at the Methodist Church in Stratton, Hitchcock County, Nebraska, which was Officer Richardson’s home town. He was buried in the Rose Hill Cemetery, near Stratton after the service.
The suspect, a seventeen year old juvenile, was apprehended an hour after the shooting. The juvenile was tried as an adult, convicted of second degree murder on July 11, 1977, served nine years of a twenty year sentence and released on August 14, 1986.
In 1990, Officer Richardson was inducted into the Police Officers’ Association of Nebraska Hall of Fame.
On Peace Officers Memorial Day, in May 1992, the officers of the York Police Department dedicated a memorial to Officer Richardson outside the York Police Department, with the hope that no more names be added to it.