Patrol Officer John Ward Dotson

Patrol Officer John Ward Dotson

Chickasaw Police Department, Alabama

End of Watch Tuesday, April 8, 1980

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John Ward Dotson

Patrol Officer John Dotson was shot and killed by a man he was writing a speeding citation to on Highway 43 in Saraland. His body was found beside his patrol car with the suspect's ticket clutched in his hand.

The 45-year old subject who shot him was apprehended, found guilty of capital murder, and sentenced to life without parole. In 1989 and again in 1992 he received new trials and was sentenced to life without parole each time.

Officer Dotson had served with the Chickasaw Police Department for almost two years. He was survived by his expectant wife.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 1 year, 11 months
  • Badge 20

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Shotgun
  • Offender Sentenced to life

Most Recent Reflection

View all 18 Reflections

I Think of John every time I'm on I65 at the Chickasaw Exit. He was a friend of mine through the Brewer's. Never knew he had kids. The way his life ended was not good at all. That was the same place I was stopped one night coming home from work and you could not see your over the hood of the car. A store in had gotten robed and my car was the same color as the car the police were looking for that night. Everybody from Prichard to Satsuma and State Police were looking for that color car that night. Well seems like all of them surrounded me about 1130 that night as I came home from the 3 to 11 shift dirty with dust from the grain elevator. John was one of the Chickasaw Officers that night. That was the last time a saw him. God be with all of his family.

Retired Army / Work at Corps Engineers
Teen Friend

June 20, 2017

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