Officer Richard Joseph Barth

Officer Richard Joseph Barth

Downers Grove Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Monday, March 18, 1974

Add to My Heroes

Richard Joseph Barth

Officer Richard Barth was shot and killed by a 13-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

View all 28 Reflections

Thinking of my uncle who just got back from Vietnam. Wow! He survived an overseas war but was shot dead defending his own community where he lives. At that time there were no bullet proof vests. Still remember the day we had a half day of school, when we got home we heard about a police officer going to my grandma’s house to tell her the news. We lived a lot away. My sister and I were called into the school office to listen to the principal saying that you need to be strong for your Mother. Spent the rest of the week at the Toon Funeral Home witnessing the line of police officers and others paying their respects for the only police officer killed in the line of duty in Downers Grove, Illinois. Then watching the parade of police cars going to the Queen of Heaven Cemetery blaring sirens. I know that you lived the life you were chosen to do. But I wished I could have known you better because I was just 9 years old when you went to heaven. I know you , Mom and Grandma are my guardian angels always looking and watching out for me. Miss you all !!

Margaret Todd RN

March 5, 2023

Want even more control of your Reflection? Create a free ODMP account now for these benefits:

  • Quick access to your heroes
  • Reflections published quicker
  • Save a Reflection signature
  • View, edit or delete any Reflection you've left in the past

Create an account for more options, or use this form to leave a Reflection now.