Indiana State Police honor late Master Trooper James Bailey in annual memorial service

21Alive News at 5
Updated: May. 17, 2023 at 7:00 PM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - 48 names are etched into the Indiana State Police memorial stone outside the Fort Wayne Post. Each year the names of fallen troopers are read at the memorial service. This year, a name close to home joined the list.

Police say Master Trooper James Bailey was killed on March 3 after he was hit by a vehicle driven by Terry Sands. Bailey was trying to stop Sands during a police chase on I-69 with stop sticks, officers say.

BACKGROUND: ISP Trooper killed on I-69 near Auburn

At Wednesday’s annual service at the Fort Wayne Post for the Indiana State Police, Bailey’s wife, Amy, was there. Lieutenant Corey Culler said having her at the ceremony intensified the emotions.

“It brings a more emotional aspect to it because we can see the pain,” Culler said. “We feel some pain, too, but obviously as a family member, she has a lot of it. And we’re here to support her as much as we can.”

It wasn’t just Bailey’s demeanor as a trooper that was recognized by Culler, but also how Bailey interacted with his community.

“James didn’t know a stranger,” Culler said. “He just loved to go talk to people. You stop in a gas station in Auburn, and the girls inside when James was killed were distraught because he would go in there and make it a point to be personal with them.”

Culler also said that Bailey’s personal connection to the community serves as an example for other troopers to follow.

“So I tell the troopers, any time you get the chance to make a relationship go ahead and do that, and I think it’s important for people.”