Tulsa Police detective passes away after year-long battle with cancer

TULSA, Okla. — A Tulsa Police Department (TPD) detective who worked in the Child Crisis Unit passed away following a year-long battle with stage four cancer, the Tulsa Police Department announced on Friday.

Detective William “Will” Hays, 39, died on Tuesday. He is survived by his wife and three children.

Hays served in the United States Marine Corps, from 2006–2010, as an aviation technician and earned honors such as the Iraq Campaign Medal and Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. Hays was also deployed to Iraq as part of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2009.

In 2011, Hays joined the Tulsa Police Department where he was assigned to patrol in all three patrol divisions.

Throughout his career Hays was known to have a passion for helping children.

In 2017, Hays was assigned as a detective in the Child Crisis Unit and continued to serve children in the community until his passing.

Eric Stafford, a child crisis detective with TPD, told FOX23 he has been friends with Hays since 2011 when they both entered the academy.

“We actually went into the academy together,” Stafford said. “We both went into the child crisis unit because we both wanted to help kids. It was a shared passion.”

Stafford also said it’s been a hard year for Hays’ friends and family, especially when we went into hospice a couple of weeks ago.

“He fought and kept going as long as he could,” Stafford said. “Towards the end at some point, you realize that it’s coming to an end. And it’s sad. You come together.”

“If he were here now, [I’d say} ‘I love you man. Thanks. Thanks for being a friend,” he added.

An account has been set up for the family at the FOP Credit Union, police said.