Patrol Officer Kenneth R. Dawson

Patrol Officer Kenneth R. Dawson

Wheeling Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Tuesday, November 5, 1985

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Kenneth R. Dawson

Patrol Officer Kenneth Dawson was shot and killed while responding to a burglary call on Cleo Court at 7:30 pm.

The suspect was convicted of murder, attempted murder, aggravated kidnapping, and armed robbery, and sentenced to death. On January 11, 2003, the outgoing governor granted clemency to all 167 Illinois death row inmates as one of his last acts in office. The inmate's sentence was commuted to life without parole.

Officer Dawson had served with the Wheeling Police Department for 16 years. He was survived by his wife and three daughters.


  • Age 42
  • Tour 16 years
  • Badge 123

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Gun; Unknown type
  • Offender Death sentence commuted

burglary, convicted felon

Most Recent Reflection

View all 38 Reflections

Kenny, you were a wonderful cousin. When you died, I made a promise that I would become a police chaplain to help all of your brother and sister officers. It's been almost forty years since you were taken from us, and I kept my word. I was the first female chaplain in Evanston, and I was a trainer and first female on the board of directors of the 4,000 members of the International Conference of Police Chaplains.,?and traveled over the country teaching new chaplains. ICPC It's the only accrediting program in the world - we serve over 20 countries. Kenny, I’m not bragging ~ what I want to tell you is that you inspired me to make a difference in as many officerss as I can in your honor ~ thank you for your service and example ~ your life lives on in the lives of every single officer I meeet. .
With love and respect, your I am now not only s matter chaplain, but I’m a certified crisis responder and certified Rrd Cross chaplain ~ you did this ..~ with love, respect and honor .~ you will NEVER be forgotten ~ ~ with love and respect
Your cousin Kate

Retired Master Chaplain
Evanston, Il

July 24, 2023

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