Medal of Honor - Sergeant William Joseph Rutledge
December 26, 1937 - May 14, 1969
Sergeant William Rutledge was employed with Riverside Sheriff's Department for seven and a half years. He was hired on October 18, 1961, and assigned to the Indio Station. In November 1965, he was reclassified to Investigator and in June 1967, was promoted to Sergeant and transferred to the Indio Jail.
Sergeant Rutledge began his career in law enforcement by attending the Riverside Sheriff's 19th Basic Academy. He was hired by Riverside County Sheriff and did not work for any other law enforcement agency.
On May 14, 1969, Investigator William Carter and Sergeant Rutledge were traveling from Blythe to Indio after working during the morning hours in Blythe. Both men apparently dozed off. The patrol unit they were traveling in smashed into the rear end of a truck and killed Sergeant Rutledge instantly. Investigator Carter died six days later.
Sergeant Rutledge was survived by his wife and three children. He was also survived by his parents and one brother. Sergeant Rutledge was born in Enid, Oklahoma.