Officer Killed at Police Detail Was Dad, Husband, Lifesaver, Candidate—and Family Feud Winner

By Chris Wangler
December 6, 2023


Veteran Waltham police officer Paul Tracey, 58, was killed in a work detail crash Wednesday now under investigation by Waltham and State Police. A National Grid worker was also struck and killed.

Tracey's tragic death has caused an outpouring of support in Waltham and beyond.

Waltham Mayor Jeannette McCarthy interrupted Wednesday's school committee meeting to reflect on his heartbreaking death.

“I have been notified that one member of our family, a police officer, has passed away. So I ask you to keep that officer and his family in your prayers,” the mayor said, visibly shaken.

Later, during a press conference at WPD headquarters, Chief Kevin O'Connell said Paul Tracey “was a compassionate police officer who always looked out for the underdog.” He described him as “an amazing husband, loving father and friend to all.”

A lifelong Waltham resident, Paul was married to a WPD school resource officer and was the father of two children. 

He served on Waltham Police for 28 years, and on at least two occasions he was recognized for life saving efforts. 

In 2018, while vacationing with family at Riviera Beach Resort in South Yarmouth, the off-duty officer saved the life of a drug overdose victim by administering CPR.

“He saved her life, no question,” said a Yarmouth Fire Department captain at the time.

Last November, Officer Tracey was one of several Waltham officers who responded to a tragic Brandeis bus crash that killed one undergraduate and injured dozens. 

He and his colleagues received Lifesaving Medals from the Massachusetts Police Association a few months ago.

Opinionated and deeply committed to his hometown, Paul also ran twice for city council in Ward 3 in North Waltham.

He had ambitions, but always put family first.

In 2013, the Waltham Traceys enjoyed an entertaining run of appearances on Family Feud, impressing host Steve Harvey.

Paul’s Fast Money responses helped the family win $20,000. “We had a blast,” he said while holding his son at Shoppers during a watch party. “I’d do it again in a heartbeat.”

The Waltham Channel joins the Waltham community in mourning his tragic passing and extends condolences to his family and friends.