Officer Harold J. Koehncke

Officer Harold J. Koehncke

Dolton Police Department, Illinois

End of Watch Friday, July 22, 1932

Harold J. Koehncke

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

About 9:00 pm, the vehicle was stopped at 144th Street and Chicago Road and after the suspects briefly attempted to pull away when instructed to proceed to the police station, the officer decided to take them 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 and despite being mortally wounded he was able to return fire, wounding two of the suspects before the vehicle swerved, crashing into a tree and overturning.

All four suspects fled on foot to a nearby wooded area and with the help of a citizen's posse from Dolton and nearby towns, three of the suspects were apprehended and 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 being sentenced to 35 years and his accomplices to 14 and 25 years in prison.

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


  • Age 26
  • Tour 3 years
  • Badge 2

Incident Details

  • Cause Gunfire
  • Weapon Handgun
  • Offender Convicted of murder

Most Recent Reflection

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Officer Koehncke's story was read in Richton Park Police Department's roll call on 11-05-16 to honor him.

Sgt. James Galvan

November 5, 2016

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