DIXON, Ill. (WTVO) — Officer Mark Dallas, the Dixon School Resource Officer credited with preventing a mass shooting last year, received the award for “National Officer of the Year.”
The award was be presented through the American Police Hall of Fame & Museum.
The award ceremony took place at Dixon City Hall, 121 West Second Street, on Thursday, August 15th at 11:00 a.m.
The American Police Hall of Fame was established in 1960 and began a national awards program in 1972. In 1988, the Hall of Fame began recognizing one police officer from across the country each year.
“I am very appreciative of the American Police Hall of Fame and museum,” Dallas said. “I’m definitely going to go sometime soon.”
Officer Dallas is credited with preventing a mass shooting at Dixon High School on May 16, 2018 after shooting and stopping a gunman who fired several shots in the school gymnasium during a senior graduation practice.
“I always say, I was just doing my job that day,” Dallas said. “It’s what I am paid to do. And, you know, it’s a very humbling and honorable situation for me.”
Dallas is a 15 year veteran of the Dixon Police Department and has 24 total years of law enforcement experience and had been assigned as the Dixon High School Resource Officer for the past 5 years.
An outpouring of public support for Officer Dallas’ actions trended on social media following reports of the shooting.
“It takes me a lot longer to go shopping. I do a lot of shopping, grocery shopping, and I go into the store and it takes me a bit longer than normal because I get hugs and handshakes and congratulated, and so, that’s about the only thing that’s really changed for me,” he said.
After receiving the award, Dallas is now thinking of what he will do once he retires.
“What I’d like to do is talk about the May 16th incident and do presentations, and if I could teach other law enforcement or help other law enforcement agencies or school districts, that’s what I’d like to do in the future,” he said.
Dallas says he’s going to finish this school year as the Dixon High School Resource Officer and will make an announcement on when he plans to retire.
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