Officer Robert P. Dana

Officer Robert P. Dana

Metropolitan Police Department, Massachusetts

End of Watch Sunday, March 25, 1984

Robert P. Dana

Officer Robert Dana was shot and killed by a suspect who had gained control of another officer's handgun on the Blue Hills Parkway, in Milton.

Officer Dana had conducted a traffic stop when he noticed a stolen television in the backseat. A Milton police officer stopped to assist during the traffic stop and was speaking to the driver as Officer Dana returned to his patrol car to contact dispatchers. During the questioning the suspect became agitated, gained control of the Milton officer's weapon, and shot Officer Dana.

The suspect was traced to a home in Boston where he committed suicide as a SWAT team entered to arrest him.

Officer Dana was survived by his wife who was a member of the Milton Police Department. She was on duty and responded to the scene in the police ambulance. Before joining the Metropolitan Police Department Officer Dana had served as a federal police officer and a U.S. Air Force Security Policeman. He was survived by his wife of six months and parents.

After Officer Dana's death the Robert Dana Award was created and is awarded annually to Massachusetts Police Officers for distinguished service.


  • Age 29
  • Tour 8 years
  • Badge 701
  • Military Veteran

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Committed suicide

traffic stop

Most Recent Reflection

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Robert was my field training officer in the U.S. Federal Protective Service, patrol force in Boston (1979), prior to my commencing the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center Academy in Glynco, Georgia. Upon my graduating the academy (1980), I returned too Boston, but Robert had transferred too the Metropolitan District Commission Police. During our time together Robert taught me patrol procedures, identified all of the General Services Administration properties in the greater Boston area that we were tasked with protecting, and conducting physical security surveys. During our brief time together Robert impressed me as a great mentor and teacher. He set the example with his knowledge, professionalism, and appearance. I served two years with the Federal Protective Service in Boston, including a tour at the Cuban Refugee Center at Ft Indiantown Gap, PA , and the Federal Air Traffic Controllers strike at various F.A.A. facilities.
I became a Melrose Police Officer in 1981 and retired in 2018. I was on duty when Robert was killed. I will never forget Robert . He was truly one of the very best officers I had served with.

Patrolman William O'Donnell
Melrose (MA) Police Department (Patrolman #1-retired)

April 20, 2018

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