Officer Harold J. Koehncke

Officer Harold J. Koehncke

Dolton Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Friday, July 22, 1932

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Harold J. Koehncke

Officer Harold Koehncke was shot and killed after making a traffic stop for a vehicle failing to stop at a stoplight.

About 9:00 pm, a vehicle was stopped at 144th Street and Chicago Road. The driver briefly attempted to pull away when instructed to proceed to the police station. Officer Koehncke decided to take the suspects into custody by driving their car as he was on motorcycle patrol. While en route, Officer Koehncke was shot four times in the back of the head. Despite being mortally wounded, he returned fire, wounding two suspects before the vehicle swerved, crashing into a tree and overturning.

All four suspects fled on foot to a nearby wooded area. With the help of a citizen's posse from Dolton and nearby towns, three of the suspects were apprehended, but one was never caught. All three suspects confessed to their involvement, with the shooter having been paroled from an Indiana prison 35 days earlier. The suspects told authorities that they were en route to rob a drug store when they were stopped. A jury found the three suspects guilty of murder, with the shooter, 19, being sentenced to 35 years; his brother, 18, sentenced to 14 years, and the other subject, 21, sentenced to 25 years. He was denied parole on December 28, 1944.

Officer Koehncke served the two-man Dolton Police Department for three years and was also a volunteer firefighter. He was survived by his wife and young son. Officer Koehncke was buried in Mount Greenwood Cemetery.


  • Age 26
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 2

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Sentenced to 35 years

traffic stop

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Thank you for your service and on days like this we remind you and your family that your sacrifice is one that will never, ever be forgotten. Rest in peace always.

Detective Cpl/3 Steven Rizzo
Delaware State Police (Retired)

July 22, 2020

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