Patrolman Richard Elton Becker

Patrolman Richard Elton Becker

Poland Township Police Department, Ohio

End of Watch Sunday, November 6, 1983

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Richard Elton Becker

Patrolman Richard Becker was shot and killed while investigating reports of a suspicious person near a bar on State Route 170 at 1:20 a.m.

Patrolman Becker was on patrol when he pulled into the bar parking lot. A patron then told him of a suspicious man in the rear of the bar. Patrolman Becker started checking the area on foot but walked past the suspect without seeing him because of the darkness. When Patrolman Becker was about 20 feet away from the man, the original complainant yelled out that the man was behind him. When Patrolman Becker turned around, he was shot in the chest with a 12-gauge shotgun. The suspect fled the scene.

Patrolman Becker was transported to South Side Hospital, where he succumbed to his wounds approximately one hour later.

The suspect fled to Winchester, Virginia, where he committed suicide the following day.

Patrolman Becker had served with the Poland Township Police Department for over four years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.

In December 2017, Route 170 in Mahoning County was renamed the Poland Township Police Officer Richard E. Becker Memorial Highway.


  • Age 36
  • Tour 4 years, 6 months
  • Badge Not available

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun; 12 gauge
  • Offender Committed suicide

suspicious person

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NEVER FORGET! On behalf of the Ohio Attorneys General Bureau of Criminal Identification & Investigation, we honor the dedicated service and ultimate sacrifice of Patrolman Richard Elton Becker of the Poland Township Police Department, Ohio and the additional 59 American Peace Officers who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on this date in history.

Superintendent Joe Morbitzer
Ohio Attorney General, Bureau of Criminal Investigation

November 6, 2023

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