Officer Richard Joseph Barth

Officer Richard Joseph Barth

Downers Grove Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, March 18, 1974

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Richard Joseph Barth

Officer Richard Barth was shot and killed by a 15-year-old suspect while questioning him and another youth about suspicious activity in a park.

Unbeknownst to Officer Barth, the two boys had just committed a burglary and were going through the stolen items when Officer Barth interrupted them.

The suspect who shot Officer Barth was convicted of murder and sentenced to 50 to 100 years in prison. He was released in 2003.

Officer Barth had served with the Downers Grove Police Department for two years. He was survived by his wife.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 2 years
  • Badge 11

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Released in 2003

juvenile offender, suspicious activity

Most Recent Reflection

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I was once inside the Downers Grove Police Station and took note of the memorial to their only slain Officer Richard Barth. As a fellow Brother in Blue lucky enough to have lived through an entire career, I salute your memory and honor your service today, 50 years later. Rest easy and know you are not forgotten.

David Milligan
Chicago Police Department (ret.)

March 19, 2024

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