In Loving Memory of Cpl. James Szuba & Ricky

On January 9, 2010, Cpl. James Szuba and his K9 Partner Ricky were “killed in the line of duty.” Cpl. Szuba and K9 Ricky were responding to assist another officer whom had reported a dangerous driver that was fleeing at a high rate of speed. Cpl. Szuba’s patrol vehicle was struck by the vehicle, killing Cpl. Szuba and K9 Ricky. The City of Mishawaka suffered a great loss that night. Words cannot express our grief.

Cpl. Szuba was a 1985 Marian High School graduate. He and his wife, Debbie married soon after high school and began raising a family (a son, Josh and a daughter, Stephanie). Cpl. Szuba was a devoted family man, preferring conversations about family and friends than any other subject. His idea of a good time was anything that involved his family.

Cpl. Szuba attended the Indiana Law Enforcement Academy and was certified by the State of Indiana as a Police Officer. During his training at the Academy, his shooting skills won him the “Top Gun” award, posting the highest shooting score during qualification. On February 26, 2002, he was sworn in as a Police Officer for the City of Mishawaka. He worked in the Uniform Division until January, 2004 when he was assigned to the K9 Unit. Cpl. Szuba was partnered with K9 Ricky; a two and a half year old German Sheppard and was a patrol and narcotics detection trained K9. Ricky quickly won the hearts of Jim, Debbie, Stephanie, Josh, and Sam, becoming a member of the family. Cpl. Szuba continued his training at the Academy, becoming a Certified Instructor. He utilized his shooting skills to become Certified as a Firearms Instructor and Armorer. His calm demeanor made him an excellent instructor. He found great satisfaction in helping officers improve their shooting skills.

Cpl. Szuba was well regarded by his peers and supervisors as well as members of the Community. He was always considered to be fair, honest and direct; always treating people with respect and dignity. The City of Mishawaka will forever be grateful for the contribution Cpl. Szuba made to the Community.