Cover photo for James Richard Peva's Obituary
James Richard Peva Profile Photo
1928 James 2021

James Richard Peva

May 7, 1928 — May 5, 2021

James Richard Peva, 92, of Plainfield, passed away on May 5, 2021.  He was born in Evansville on May 7, 1928 to the late Robert Carson and Margaret Jane (Caskey) Peva.  James graduated from Reitz High School in Evansville, IN in 1946, Indiana University in 1950, F.B.I. National Academy for Police in 1955 and Indiana University Indianapolis Law School (J.D., Order of the Coif) in 1961.  In 1953 he married Ailene Ellen Clark of Plainfield and they had three children, Mary Ellen, Rebecca Ann and Catherine Sue.  He was appointed a Trooper with the Indiana State Police in 1950 and retired from that department in 1971 with the rank of Colonel (Assistant Superintendent).  After five years as a Trooper, serving in Morgan and Hendricks counties, James was transferred to the Headquarters in Indianapolis where he was promoted through the ranks in the Training and Public Relations Division.  Serving as the police legal advisor, he rough drafted many law enforcement related bills that ultimately became law in Indiana, including the Indiana Mandatory Police Training Law.  He served on many boards and commissions in state government including the Criminal Law Study Commission and the Criminal Justice Institute Board of Trustees.  Upon retirement from the state police in 1971, he was appointed Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice and Law at IUPUI where he taught all the undergraduate law courses in the Criminal Justice Program.  James retired as the Associate Professor of Public and Environmental Affairs in 1992.  He authored with Richard Good the "Indiana Police Officer's Legal Manual" in 1983, with Richard Good and Charles Braun the "Essential Case Law for Policing America" in 1989 and 1992.  James served as a member of the Law Enforcement Training Board and the Advisory Council.  In 1968 the Veterans of Foreign Wars at their national convention in Detroit awarded him the J. Edgar Hoover Gold Medal Award as the outstanding police officer in the United States.  Four different Governors of Indiana, Matthew Welsh in 1964, Roger Branigan in 1968, Robert Orr in 1988 and Evan Bayh in 1992 names him a "Sagamore of the Wabash".  His memberships included Sigma Chi, Lambda Alpha Epsilon Law Enforcement Fraternity, Americans for Effective Law Enforcement, Fraternal Order of Police and Pioneers of the Indiana State Police.  James was a member of the Plainfield Christian Church.  He and his family enjoyed camping, genealogy and attending bluegrass music festivals.  They traveled many times to New England and especially Maine searching for Peva ancestors.  They were regular attendees at bluegrass music festivals in Brown County for over 50 years.  James was preceded in death by his loving wife, of 63 years, Ailene Peva and a daughter, Mary Ellen Meeks.  A Celebration of Life will be held at a later date.  Survivors include his daughters, Cathy Sue Law and Rebecca Ann Hardy; grandchildren, James (Cassie) Wyatt, Lucas and Hannah Hardy; great grandchildren, Isaiah, Macie, Addie and Brixlee.           

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