Officer Robert Michael Dale

Officer Robert Michael Dale

Atlanta Police Department, Georgia

End of Watch Thursday, April 4, 1974

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Robert Michael Dale

Officer Robert Dale accidentally shot himself while serving a search warrant.

Officer Dale who was normally on helicopter flight assignments, but due to bad weather, was assisting the fugitive squad. While serving a warrant to a man they thought was harboring a fugitive; he was leaning inside the opening with the 9 mm weapon in his right hand and his flashlight in his left when he bumped the hammer against the door jamb, causing it to discharge. The bullet hit him in the left side of the chest, fatally wounding him.

The fugitive was found in another apartment, and five men were arrested for obstructing an officer.

Officer Dale was a United States Army Vietnam War veteran and had served with the Atlanta Police Department for 3 years. He was survived by his wife, son, and daughter.


  • Age 25
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 2803
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire (Inadvertent)

accidental discharge, fugitive, manhunt, warrant

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Dale,
On today, the 50th anniversary of your death I would just like to say thank you for your service and sacrifice-not just for your Community but for our Country as well when you served with the U.S. Army during the Vietnam War. And to your Family and loved ones, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy.

BPA Mike Casey
United States Border Patrol(Retired)

April 4, 2024

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