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 39 Reflections

It’s been so long ago that you paid the ultimate price. I will never forget all of your good counsel and your kindness. You were a great exemplar.
I’m so sorry for all that you and your family missed.
I remember you every day. You will never be forgotten. I know you are walking with the Lord.

Police Officer Ronald Rovner ( Retired)
Cook County Sheriff’s Police (IL)

October 20, 2023

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