Illinois Police Officer Unexpectedly Dies off Duty


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PEKIN, Ill. – The Pekin Police Department is mourning the unexpected loss of one of its officers Thursday.

Late Wednesday, May 17, 2023, the department received the devastating news that one of their own had passed away suddenly and unexpectedly while off duty. 

This event was not duty-related.

The Pekin officers are currently grappling with a whirlwind of emotions as they support their fallen colleague’s family and come to terms with the sudden loss.

“We too are human and share the same emotions as others when we lose somebody,” said Pekin Police Chief John Dossey. “I am proud of how they have handled themselves and the way they continue to serve their community.”

The news of the officer’s passing has prompted an outpouring of support on social media from the local community. A procession of police cars was held late last night to escort the fallen officer to the coroner’s office in Peoria. Officers have remained by the fallen officer’s side, standing guard in tribute. Today, the officer was brought back to Pekin, where plans are underway to honor them and support their family.

Details surrounding the identity of the officer and cause of death have not been released. 

Witnesses who observed the procession were moved by the display of support. Numerous agencies joined in, paying their respects to the fallen officer and offering solace to the Pekin PD family. Community members halted their vehicles, stepped out, and saluted or placed a hand over their hearts as a poignant tribute. The overwhelming response from the community has deeply touched the Pekin Police Department.

“We thank you for caring. The simple gestures are what we needed in this moment, and we appreciate you,” expressed Chief Dossey.

Mayor Mary Burress also extended her condolences, asking for prayers for the fallen officer’s family and the city. She commended the Police Chief, Fire Chief, and all participating departments for their efforts in bringing home one of Pekin’s heroes.

This week coincides with National Police Week, an annual observance to honor law enforcement officers’ sacrifices across the nation. The untimely loss of this dedicated officer serves as a reminder of the risks and sacrifices officers make to ensure public safety.

As the community mourns the loss of their fallen hero, the Pekin Police Department stands united, drawing strength from the support of their city.


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