End of Watch: The death of Pensacola Police Officer Louis Champa

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May 26, 1951

An excerpt from the book, “Some Gave All,” by Mike Simmons, coming soon on Amazon.

Louis was born on July 10, 1909, in Eveleth, Minnesota to Bartholomew and Meri Champa. In 1943 they moved to Pensacola and found a home at 168 Aragon Court. The same year, Louis began working on the Navy base as a patrol officer. In 1945 he applied for and was accepted as a Pensacola Police Officer. He started on December 1, 1945.  

He was thrilled! He loved the job! He worked hard and made a name for himself as an honest, give-it-all-you-got officer. As a result, it wasn’t long before he was promoted from patrolman to motorcycle officer!

Saturday night, May 26, 1951, as Motorcycle Officers Louis Champa and J. G. Hall were pursuing a speeding car south on Palafox Street, another car driven by 31-year-old James Carl Davis pulled in front of him at the corner of Gonzalez Street. As soon as Davis saw Officer Champa, he stopped…right in Champa’s path. Champa tried to take evasive action, but the 1950 Buick was too close, and Champa’s motorcycle struck it solidly.

Officer Champa was taken by ambulance to Sacred Heart Hospital where he was pronounced dead. The driver of the Buick was arrested for Manslaughter and held in jail. The county solicitor found that there was not enough evidence and refused to prosecute.

He was survived by his wife, Florence and three daughters, Betty, Cleo, and Vicki. Funeral services were held on Monday, May 28 at Fisher-Pou Funeral Home. Officer Champa was buried in full Pensacola Police Uniform with PPD motorcycle officers serving as pall bearers. He was buried in Cleveland.

Louis Champa


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