Archive for Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Sheriff’s lieutenant killed in bicycle accident laid to rest

Law enforcement agencies from across the region gather to pay their respects to a Douglas County Sheriff's lieutenant killed in a bicycle accident.

July 2, 2008


Law enforcement agencies from across the region gathered Wednesday to pay their respects to a Douglas County Sheriff's lieutenant killed in a bicycle accident.

Lieutenant Dave Dillon died Saturday, but hundreds gathered Wednesday morning to remember his life -- a life devoted to serving the people of Douglas County for more than a quarter of a century.

"Over the years of watching him grow, you could just see the maturity, the passion," Douglas County Sheriff Ken McGovern said. "He loved his job."

Dillon devoted 26 years of his life to the Douglas County Sheriff's Department, but his life was cut tragically short Saturday when he was struck by a car while riding his bike on county road 442 west of Eudora.

"It's tragic that his life was cut short," Dillon's brother Jeffrey said. "It's tragic for all of us, but if we could all continue to live our lives like Dave, I think the world would be a better place."

Hundreds turned out to pay their respects for Dillon, whose career in law enforcement began in 1982 when he was just 18 years old.

"It's important for me to say there's nobody that's ever going to fill Dave's shoes," Undersheriff Kenney Massey said. "There's a void that's always going to be there."

That void will be felt the most at the Douglas County Jail. Dillon who started as a corrections officer worked his way up the ranks to operations lieutenant. He played a key role in the opening of the new jail in 1999, but also spent a number of years serving as a D.A.R.E. officer to thousands of Lawrence school children.

"It's tough," McGovern said. "Everybody got to work with him, some were supervised by him, other guys were on the road with him.... It's left a big void in us. He meant a lot to everybody."

Just how much he meant could be seen by Wednesday's turnout. Officers from departments all across the region participated in a processional across town. Others offered to fill in, helping with day-to-day operations so all Douglas County Sheriff's Department employees could attend the funeral.

"Dave will be proud, i think," Massey said of the law enforcement funeral with full honors, complete with bagpipes, Taps and a 21-gun salute. The sheriff said he wouldn't have had it any other way.

"When I met with his mom, she said this job, this department was his life, and she asked if he could be remembered through a service that he would be proud of," McGovern said. "They asked for full honors, and it's expected for what he gave this place, this community. It was all about Dave, giving back to the people that he lived with."


bigjdbigpapa48 9 years, 10 months ago

I wanted to be there myself cause he meant alot to me also, but instead i sent my condolents online to the family to show my respect to the family and him thats all one person like me can do in my situation. So to all who might know who i am, you should know that i was interdouce to him through jail, where he began to touch my life and im still going and wont stop until GOD come get me like he did LT. DILLON. So rest in peace my friend until we meet again.

doc1 9 years, 10 months ago

I never met Mr. Dillon, but what a great guy. What a great department he worked for. Bless you Mr. Dillon, your family and the Sheriff's Department.

anniedoodie 9 years, 10 months ago

I too never knew Mr. Dillon, but I have relatives and friends in both the Sheriff's Department and in our local Police Station. I had the honor of standing on the Lone Star blacktop as the procession went by. I held up a sign just to say thanks to all of our law enforcement providers and to say God Bless them all. We should be so proud of everyone in law enforcement and pray for their safety on a daily basis. They are here for all of us and put their lives on the line every day! I shed tears for a man I did not know, but I heard so many wonderful things about him that I felt I knew him. My nephew is a Deputy (Sgt.) with the Sheriff's department (20 years) and I know Mr. Dillon's death affected him greatly. So please everyone, pray for the brave men and women that protect us every day, and thank them for doing such a great job of protecting us. We are so lucky to live in a country where we are free to say and do as we please. I have been to 3rd world countries and believe me, there is a lot of corruption in their law enforcement. Be proud you live in America!

AnglNSpurs 9 years, 10 months ago

I attended this funeral, and what a beautiful service it was. The procession was over 4 miles long, and on the way from the church to Washinton Creek, you saw how much Lt. Dillon was respected and what he meant to this community. Cars in the opposite lane of the procession were stopped in respect ( A sight not seen much these days), Construction Workers by St. Mary's church stopped their equipment and stood along the road with hard hats over their chests, children and adults stood along the road waving flags and boasting signs reading "God Bless You."Truly a class act done by those individuals. Lt. Dillon was a friend of my family, and my DARE officer in grade school, he was a truly fine man and will be sorely missed. May he Rest in Peace.

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