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Local

Dixon’s finest – and best: School resource officer named Citizen of the Year

DHS resource officer adds another award to list

DIXON – Mark Dallas is running out of room to put his awards.

The Dixon High School resource officer was named the 2018 Citizen of the Year on Friday at the Best of Dixon awards ceremony hosted by the Dixon Chamber of Commerce and Main Street and sponsored by The Telegraph.

“This is very special to me, probably more than anyone will ever know,” Dallas said.

He’s been credited as a hero on the local, state and national level for thwarting the shooter who opened fire at Dixon High School on May 16.

Senior Matthew A. Milby Jr. took a 9mm semi-automatic rifle to graduation practice that morning in the Lancaster Gym, fired at a gym teacher in a hallway, and took off running seconds later when confronted and pursued by Dallas.

Milby, 19, fired at Dallas outside while fleeing from the school; Dallas returned fire, hitting Milby in the upper shoulder and hip. Milby was arrested near his car in Page Park. No one else was injured.

“I’m glad I was there the day we had our trial by fire,” he said.

Since then, Dallas has been awash in awards, recognitions and special appearances.

Earlier this week, he was awarded the Medal of Valor by the Illinois Sheriffs’ Association in Peoria, and he was U.S. Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s special guest at President Donald Trump’s State of the Union address in Washington, D.C.

Trump praised Dallas in October when he was named the 2018 Officer of the Year by the International Association of Chiefs of Police, and former Gov. Bruce Rauner proclaimed May 30, 2018, as Officer Mark Dallas Day.

Dallas also was an honorary captain for a Chicago Bears game in September and received city, state and national government commendations during the past several months.

In June, he was honored as Hero of the Year and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year by the Lee County Voiture 409.

Dallas, 50, has about 24 years experience in law enforcement, and this is his fifth year as the high school resource officer. He and his wife, Jennifer, have two children, Joshua and Lauren.

PAST CITIZENS OF THE YEAR

1982: Paul Berrettini

1983: Jerrald James

1984: Robert Shomaker

1985: Robert Mansen

1986: Gary Gehlbach

1987: Joan Sheridan

1988: Helen & Elwood Cruse

1989: Bob Gringas

1990: Isaac Mercer

1991: Tom Durband

1992: Bill Reigle

1993: Linda Brantley

1994: Jane Marshall

1995: Jeff Lovett

1996: Darryl Vandervort

1997: Stan Weber

1998: Jim Nelson

1999: Nancy Varga

2000: JoAnn Guthrie

2001: Doug Lee

2002: Larry Reed

2003: Al Knickrehm

2004: Sylvia Montavon

2005: Walt Lohse

2006: Nate & Ida Johnson

2007: Dave Schreiner

2008: Winston Murray

2009: James Dixon

2010: Rick Munson

2011: Rick Curia

2012: Jim Sarver

2013: Danny Langloss

2016: John Groshans

2017: Tim Broos

2018: Mark Dallas

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