METAIRIE, La. – St. Charles Sheriff’s Office Deputy Jeff Watson followed in his aunt’s footsteps when he decided to serve in law enforcement.
Watson served first in the Jefferson Parish Sheriff’s Office, then served for 12 years with the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
“Great guy, great smile. He just loved everybody. He was very personable. He just touched a lot of hearts,” said Jodi Cummings, a retired JPSO detective sergeant.
He was killed in the line of duty in August 2013.
Watson was one of 10 fallen officers the Louisiana Law Enforcement Officers Memorial honored Wednesday night. He was enshrined at a monument at Lake Lawn Metairie Funeral Home and Cemetery, joining hundreds of other officers killed in the line of duty.
“It touches my heart, it touches the family's heart. It's very great,” said Cummings. “It means a whole lot.”
Watson was killed in a car crash while responding to an emergency call for assistance from another officer.
He was driving with his emergency lights on when an intoxicated driver attempted to make a left turn in front of him, according to the St. Charles Parish Sheriff’s Office.
Watson attempted to avoid the collision, but sideswiped the vehicle, then struck another head on, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Watson was not wearing a seat belt.
“I understand him not wearing a seat belt. When I was on patrol, our guns always got caught in the seat belts when we tried to jump out of the units to go chase people,” said Cummings. “I myself personally used to get caught, a lot of the police officers do that. I wish they could change the seat belt where it could free them up and they wouldn't get caught.”
A spokesman for the St. Charles Sheriff’s Office said the intoxicated driver has been charged with a DWI.
“Please catch a cab. It's not worth it to the innocent drivers, their the ones that usually get killed,” said Cummings.