The Historian's Spotlight - James Baber, Session 33

While conducting research for a graduate studies project Alexandria Virginia Police Department Deputy Chief Shahram Fard, Session 262, unearthed newspaper articles about former Alexandria Deputy Inspector James Baber, Session 33.  According to the article, Inspector Barber suffered a fatal heart attack while attempting to subdue a seventeen year old subject. With his new found information at the ready, Shahram contacted the National Academy Offices in Quantico leading the effort to have Inspector Baber memorialized within the Academy’s Hall of Honor.  On March 8, 2017, because of the efforts of Deputy Chief Fard and nearly fifty-five years after his passing, an Induction Ceremony was held at the FBI Academy and James W. Baber is forever enshrined within the Hall of Honor.

Although relatively brief, the information from the Hall of Honor Induction Program will provide you with insight into James W. Baber’s life and career of public service.

James W. Baber was born on June 12, 1911 in Alexandria, Virginia. The son of Ashley and Bertie Baber, he attended George Washington High School and later served for three years with the Alexandria Fire Department. He married Virginia Pitts and, living in Alexandria, they began a family. On October 1, 1935, he became an Alexandria police officer.

The young patrol officer, known as “Bootie” by his friends and colleagues, was known for his good nature. Over the next 27 years, Bootie Baber enjoyed great success at the Alexandria Police Department, serving as a detective and then detective sergeant. On October 4, 1946, Deputy Inspector Baber graduated from the 33rd Session of the FBI National Academy. In 1947, he was promoted to the rank of lieutenant and five years later, to the rank of captain. In 1960, he was named deputy inspector and oversaw Traffic Enforcement and Operations Division.

A sports enthusiast himself, Deputy Inspector Baber was an integral part of the Alexandria Police Youth camp in Kilmarnock, Virginia, serving as director and later as president of the camp’s advisory board.

On October 19, 1962, Deputy Inspector Baber had just finished working at a football game at George Washington High School. It was a busy Friday night, and Deputy Inspector Baber and another officer responded to the area of a shooting. While searching for the suspects, Deputy Inspector Baber and Private Eugene A. Yoakum suddenly came upon three suspects. Private Yoakum, a Canine handler, detained two subjects and Deputy Inspector Baber seized one of them, a 17-year-old youth. The young man tried to break away and a struggle ensued with Deputy Chief Baber. Deputy Inspector Baber subdued the suspect and then sat on the ground and collapsed. He was pronounced dead at 11:07 p.m. at Alexandria hospital. Two years later, Private Yoakum was shot and killed responding to an assault call.

Deputy Inspector Baber, age 51, was survived by his wife and their sons, Patrick and Robert. He is buried at Ivy Hill Cemetery in Alexandria. At the time of his death, Deputy Inspector Baber’s younger brother, Charlie, also served with the Alexandria Police Department as a Detective-Sergeant. Deputy Inspector Baber’s son, Patrick, joined the Fairfax County Police Department two years later after his father’s passing and served as a police officer with that agency from 1964 to 1984.

If you haven’t been back to the Academy recently I encourage you to make an attempt to get to see the many renovations that have taken or are currently taking place. With an anticipated completion by the end of June 2017, the Hall of Honor is the latest area to be renovated. We all know the Hall of Honor as that special hallowed spot in the middle of the Academy where you can stop and reflect while reading the names of the FBI National Academy Graduates who have been killed in the line of duty, along with FBI Agents who have been martyred or killed in the line of duty.

It was recently stated that like the Law Enforcement Memorial in Washington, DC, the walls of the Hall of Honor will never be complete because there will always be brave men and women making the ultimate sacrifice and whose names will be added to those walls.

Next year during the Annual Chapter Officers Meeting we will be adding another name in the Hall, that being: Assistant Chief Deputy Clinton Greenwood – Harris County Constable Precinct 3- Session 263 who was assassinated on April 3, 2017 as he was arriving for duty.

Please take time to remember all those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice as well as the families, friends and loved ones who have been left behind to carry-on their legacies.  MAY WE NEVER FORGET!


The Association’s Hall of Honor Program is intended to memorialize and pay tribute to National Academy graduates who are killed in the line of duty by adversarial action. The Hall of Honor is located at the FBI Academy, where a wall of etched stone tablets identifies our heroes and insures that their sacrifices will always be remembered. Additionally, a Hall of Honor ceremony at the FBI Academy provides the opportunity for family members, fellow National Academy graduates, friends, FBI personnel and the Association Executive Board to recognize these fallen heroes, mourn their loss, and offer comfort to their families. The Association assists with travel expenses and provides an immediate monetary death benefit to the family.

Hall of Honor Inductees

George Leon Garrett, 124th Session
Redwood City, California Police Department
DOD May 8, 1981


John Eaton Bradshaw, 130th Session
Tempe, Arizona Police Department
DOD September 20, 1987

James Leonard Schmit, 140th Session
Detroit, Michigan Police Department
DOD October 17, 1988

John T. King, 96th Session
Georgia Bureau of Investigation
DOD September 13, 1985

David N. Wilson, 124th Session
Payson, Arizona Police Department
DOD September 11, 1992

Gene L. Goldsberry, 87th Session
Topeka, Kansas – Kansas Highway Patrol
DOD August 5, 1993


John Paul Frisco, 131st Session
Windcrest, Texas Police Department
DOD December 13, 1985

Michael W. Tracy, 173rd Session
Palos Verdes Estates, California Police Department
DOD February 14, 1994


James A. Lutz, 141st Session
Waukesha, Wisconsin Police Department
DOD April 28, 1994

Cecil Spencer Guerry, 174th Session
Georgetown, South Carolina Police Department
DOD March 9, 1994


Lopez Umana, 175th Session
Columbian Prosecutors Office
DOD September 5, 1997

Anthony P. Infante, Jr., 179th Session
New York Port Authority Police Department
DOD September 11, 2001

James A. Romito, 141st Session
New York Port Authority Police Department
DOD September 11, 2001


Kim S. Orlando, 191st Session
U.S. Army
DOD October 16, 2003

David H. McCutchen, 53rd Session
Savannah Beach, Georgia Police Department
DOD April 10, 1963

Dan A. Mitrione, 59th Session
Agency for International Development
DOD August 9, 1970


William C. Smith, 72nd Session
Kentucky State Police
DOD April 26, 1973

William K. Mortimer, Sr., 83rd Session
Dayton, Ohio Police Department
DOD March 4, 1974

Darlon “DEE” C. Dowell, 113th Session
Ventura, California Police Department
DOD August 7, 1978


G. Boris Giuliano, 101st Session
Ministry of the Interior, Rome, Italy
DOD July 21, 1979

Thomas Elroy Buntrock, 100th Session
Mequon, Wisconsin Police Department
DOD December 2, 1979

Boongoy Oonvatana, 100th Session
Thai National Police
DOD December 21, 1979

John Joseph Brown, 82nd Session
Savannah, Georgia Police Department
DOD April 14, 1981

James W. Baber, 33rd Session
Alexandria Virginia Police Department
DOD October 19, 1962


William K. Biggs, Jr., 202nd Session
Kirkwood, Missouri, Police Department
DOD February 7, 2008

Roberto Velasco Bravo, 226th Session
Federal Police Corps of the Government of Mexico City
DOD May 1, 2008


Thomas P. Tennant, 175th Session
Woodburn, Oregon Police Department
DOD December 12, 2008

Chad Reed, 238th Session
Dixie County Sheriff's Office
DOD January 14, 2010