Honoring our Fallen Heroes
The Champaign Police Department honors the service and the sacrifice of the three Champaign Police Officers who honorably, selflessly, and heroically upheld their obligation to their oaths of office as police officers. These heroes made the ultimate sacrifice to protect the safety of the Champaign community, perishing in the line of duty.
May their lives and memories never be forgotten
January 2, 1862 – July 6, 1913
On July 6, 1913, Chief A.U. Keller and Officer Thomas Dodsworth went to a house on North Market Street in Champaign to arrest two suspects. Those suspects resisted arrest and began firing their weapons at the officers. In the ensuing gun battle, Chief Keller was injured, and Officer Dodsworth was killed.
March 6, 1940 – November 25, 1967
On November 25, 1967, Officer Robert Tatman radioed headquarters, saying he had a car stopped on Church Street near Mattis Avenue. At 1:09 a.m., a passing motorist used the squad car radio to report that an officer had been shot and was lying on the ground in front of his squad car. Units responded and found Officer Tatman down. An ambulance transported Officer Tatman to Mercy Hospital in Urbana where he was pronounced dead on arrival. No perpetrator has ever been apprehended in this crime.
End of Watch May 19, 2021
October 31, 1976 – May 19, 2021
On May 19, 2021, Officers Christopher Oberheim and Jeffrey Creel were dispatched to an apartment complex on North Neil Street for a reported domestic dispute. Upon arrival, the officers contacted a male sitting in a vehicle in front of the dispatched address. The male ignored orders from both officers, began to exit the vehicle, and initiated a struggle with officers. The male pulled a handgun and started firing numerous rounds. Both officers were struck by gunfire, which injured Officer Creel and fatally wounded Officer Oberheim.
2023 Police Memorial Ceremony
Each May during Police Week, Champaign Police gather at West Side Park to honor the officers who gave their lives in service of their communities across the nation. As part of this somber ceremony, members of Police Command Staff pay tribute to the fallen Champaign Police Officers and share their stories for all to hear.
The 2023 Police Memorial Ceremony can be viewed in the embedded video below. It was filmed on May 19, 2023.