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Local

Changing of the guard

Dallas to conclude tenure as Dixon High School student resource officer

DIXON – Mark Dallas had an experience as a student resource officer that not many have.

The celebrated Dixon police officer will conclude his 5-year assignment at Dixon High School next month, and Chris Scott, who joined the department in December 2017, will take over.

Chief Steve Howell and Dixon Public Schools Superintendent Margo Empen confirmed the changeover, but declined Wednesday to provide details until the move is official.

Dallas is considered a local hero for putting a stop to the May 16, 2018 shooting during graduation practice.

Then-senior Matthew A. Milby Jr., 20 took a 9mm semi-automatic rifle to school, fired at a gym teacher he encountered in a hallway, and ran seconds later when Dallas confronted and pursued him.

Milby fired at Dallas during the pursuit; Dallas returned fire, hitting Milby in the upper shoulder and hip. No one else was injured. Milby was arrested near his car in Page Park.

Dallas has been the recipient of numerous local, regional and national awards in the 14 months since. He has about 25 years experience in law enforcement, joined Dixon Police in 2003, and took over as SRO in 2014 from Jason LaMendola, who had been in that position for 9 years.

The Dixon school board plans to commemorate Dallas at its next meeting Aug. 14, Empen said.

Scott is attending a weeklong SRO class in Rockford, and could not be reached for a comment. Dallas had the day off Wednesday.

School Resource Officers

Dixon Police Department's School Resource Officer position, established in 2000, was originaly funded by the COPS federal grant to help prevent school violence. The officer's main responsiblity is the safety of students and staff, as well as teaching and counseling students. They work and have offices at their schools, but still are full-time sworn officers.

Go to dixongov.com/departments/police-department or call the police department at 815-288-4411 for more information.

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