Champaign Police Honor Fallen Officers
By Jeff Bossert
Dozens of current and former Champaign Police officers have taken time to honor those who lost their lives doing what they love.
The department held its annual memorial ceremony on Friday in West Side Park as part of National Police Week, honoring the memories of Robert Tatman and Thomas Dodsworth – the two city officers to have died in the line of duty, in 1967 and 1913.
Giving the keynote address, University of Illinois Police Training Institute Director Michael Schlosser said veterans and new recruits share the same passion, taking on a role they know will not be an easy one.
“It takes someone who cares about people," Schlosser said. "It takes someone who cares about community. It takes someone who is a good communicator. It takes someone who is a problem solver. And it takes someone who is strong, both physically and mentally. And it takes someone who is willing to run toward danger when others are running away.”
Schlosser is a retired lieutenant with the Rantoul Police Department.
"Champaign Police Department will never forget these officers who made the ultimate sacfice to our community," said Champaign Police Chief Anthony Cobb, who also noted others killed in the line of duty locally since 1913.
They include an FBI agent, Champaign County Sheriff's Deputy, and a state police trooper. Cobb said across the country, 37 police officers have died in 2013.
Following a three volley salute and the ceremonial playing of taps, the officers held a ceremony outside the Champaign County Courthouse to honor fallen Champaign County and State of Illinois Police officers.