A 28-year veteran of the University of Kansas police force and the department’s second-highest ranking officer, Deputy Chief Robert J. “Bobby” Williams Jr. died on Wednesday.
Williams, of Perry, was 56.
After about four years with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Williams joined KU police in 1989 as an officer, KU Police Chief Chris Keary said. Williams moved through the ranks to become one of the department’s two deputy chiefs, overseeing the patrol side and its 31 officers, Keary said.
Williams was known for being approachable and easy to talk to, Keary said.
“He was always very down to earth, and I think that helped certainly in his investigations day and also in his ability to relate to people,” Keary said.
And even after nearly 30 years with KU, Williams also was a known fan of rival Kansas State University.
KU police occasionally sent contingents to help with major events at K-State through the years, and Williams — a “very strong K-State fan” — was always the first to volunteer, Keary said.
On the KU campus, especially in his sergeant days, Williams led security for visiting teams and their head coaches coming on and off the court or field.
“He was a face that even many visiting coaches would probably be familiar with,” Keary said.
Williams, who died after a brief illness, was at work until mid-October, Keary said. Keary said the department was grieving while trying to support Williams’ family, including Williams’ daughter, who works as a KU police dispatcher.
“It’s obviously affected us quite a bit,” Keary said of his death.
Services for Williams were pending on Thursday, and expected to be announced by Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home.