Valparaiso Police Chief Jeffrey Balon on Friday announced that retired Assistant Chief William “Buddy” Collins lost his life in a motor vehicle crash Thursday at 325 East and U.S. Highway 30.

Assistant Chief Collins served the citizens of Valparaiso for 35 years, from 1969 to 2005.

Balon said of Collins, “He was beyond proud to be a VPD Officer, and he exemplified that pride by wearing his trademark gold necklace with a miniature Valparaiso Police Department badge charm. Even after his retirement, it was clear that he loved, and continued to love, each and every member of the VPD family. Assistant Chief Collins will be remembered for his warm greetings, which always included a smile and a handshake. We pray for his beloved wife, Nancy, as she recovers from injuries she sustained in the crash. Our VPD family has experienced a lot of loss in the past two years. Please keep VPD in your thoughts and prayers as we mourn the loss of Assistant Chief Collins.”