Honor Roll

The family of Special Officer Charles A. Williams said that it was his life-long ambition to wear a uniform and badge.

In the late afternoon hours of April 21, 1912, Williams was on patrol in the area of East 12th Street and 13th Avenue. He saw two suspicious looking men alight from a streetcar and opted to stop and question them regarding pick-pocketing activities.

Williams felt that their answers to his questions were unsatisfactory, so he decided to walk them to the “lock-up” at the rear of the firehouse on East 14th Street. Williams did not search the suspects, an oversight that would cost him his life.

As the trio neared their destination, one suspect pulled free from his grasp and ran down an alley. Williams lunged after the suspect. Suddenly, two loud, sharp reports accompanied by a large cloud of smoke came from the alley. Williams fell dead to the sidewalk. He had been shot once in the heart and once in the head.

Williams entered the Oakland Police Department service in 1907. At the time of his death he was being considered for promotion to full membership in the department. His wife and five children survived him. His murderer was captured and sentenced to life imprisonment.

Tributes in honor of Special Officer Charles A. Williams

  • Grandson

    During the short time you were alive during my dad’s life, you left him with the can do attitude that runs through our family. I have your Detective Certificate issued by the City of Sacramento dated March 15, 1887. Two of his children, Raymond Alfred Williams, my dad, and Sidney Blair Williams ended up in the printing and newspaper business. From my dad, there were three children, Raymond Alfred Williams, Jr., Marsha Carlene Williams Steward, had two son Tod and Sid and me, Harry Gale Williams. I have two children, a son Blair Louis Williams and a daughter, Tiffany Joanne Williams Garcia. Blair has one daughter, Jadyn Blair Williams, and four step-children, Alex Ellison, Cassie Helsel, Even Helsel, Shelby Henneberger, all of whom he raised and they are really more like children than step-children.

    Ray had four children, Ray, III, Jamie B. Williams, Kathleen Alice Williams, Robert Edgar Williams. Jamie has two children, Allison and Elliott and two grand children, Kathy has one son, Ryan who has two children and Robert has two.

    My uncle Sid had a son Sidney Blair Williams, Jr., who had a son Sidney Blair Williams, III. Sid, III and I are very close and we also live fairly close to each other, he in Rancho Murieta and me in Orangevale, CA. Sid has two daughtes, Betsy and Leah.

  • Thank you great-grandfather

    In honor of my great-grandfather Charles A. Williams; I recently learned your story and wanted to thank you for your dedication to your family and citizens of Oakland. You are remembered.