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ODMP Remembers...

Chief of Police Thomas Clifford Dillon | Bethel Police Department, Alaska Bethel Police Department, Alaska

Chief of Police

Thomas Clifford Dillon

Bethel Police Department, Alaska

End of Watch: Sunday, November 19, 1972

Bio & Incident Details

Age: 40

Tour: Not available

Badge # Not available

Cause: Gunfire

Weapon: Shotgun

Offender: Paroled in 1978

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Chief Thomas Dillon was shot and killed after responding to a holdup at a local cab company.

When he arrived on the scene, he exchanged shots with the suspect, who was armed with a shotgun. Chief Dillon was struck in the chest and fatally wounded. He was able to wound the suspect, who was later apprehended by other officers.

The suspect was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life. On November 4, 1977, the Alaska Supreme Court ruled that the prosecution had withheld evidence from the defense and overturned the conviction. In the second trial he was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced to 20 years. He was paroled January 12, 1978.

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Most Recent Reflection

On the day, Chief Thomas C. Dillon was shoot and killed really put a hurt deeply into my heart. Chief Dillon was a dedicated Law Enforcement Officer and was always a brave fellow officer. Mr. Nicholson, who shot and killed Bethel's Chief of Police deserved a life sentence. It's ridicules, shame, cruel, the Alaska Judicial System did not view it and contained it as Murder in the 1st degree. What Mr. Nicholson did was take a life, left Chief Dillon's family without a father, a son, an Uncle and a husband to his family. It was a sad day in Bethel for all local resident's, Law Enforcement Officer's nation wide. Chief Dillon is still in Law Enforcement Officer's mind, daily, weekly, monthly and 365 days of the year. His soul shall rest in Eternal Memory and in all our heart's.

Former Law Enforcement Officer
Friend/Former Law Enforcement
November 20, 2016


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