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Craig Douglas Dodge
Nebraska Law Enforcement Hall Of Fame
Nebraska Sheriff's Association Officer Of The Year 1987
Craig Douglas Dodge, the son of Hale and Ethel Dodge of rural Waverly, was born August 17, 1944. He attended Lincoln Southeast High School, graduating in 1962. He continued on to the University of Nebraska Lincoln studying Business Administration. During this time he joined the United States Marine Corps Reserve from which he was honorably discharged in 1967 having attained the rank of Lance Corporal.
Craig joined the Lincoln Police Department, working there briefly as a foot patrolman and cruiser officer. His life-long interest in the welfare of others led him to co-found Eastern Ambulance Company, and he sought certification from Creighton University in 1982 as a paramedic. Dodge remained involved in all phases of the ambulance company until 1983. Subsequently, he was self-employed and served as a reserve deputy sheriff for both Adams County and Lancaster County, Nebraska.
The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office hired Craig as a Court Officer in February, 1985. On June 6, 1985, he was hired as a deputy sheriff and received his certification from the Nebraska Law Enforcement and Training Center in Grand Island, Nebraska, in December of that year, graduating president of his class. Deputy Dodge was assigned to the Patrol Division in Lancaster County. He excelled in the manner in which he was able to handle medical emergencies and coroner calls. Receiving praise from both victims and medical professionals, his competence and demeanor had a calming and reassuring effect upon those he contacted.
At 5:21 A.M., March 14, 1987, Dodge was dispatched to a belated domestic assault in Hickman, Nebraska. The mother of the assault victim telephoned the Sheriff's Office to report her daughter had phoned saying she had been assaulted by her husband, Terry Reynolds, who had then left the apartment. While Deputy Dodge was enroute, a second caller who had been assisting the assault victim reported that the husband had returned, struck her, threatened her with a handgun, and made her leave. Two additional deputies were then dispatched from approximately 20 minutes away.
Deputy Dodge arrived in Hickman at about 5:30 A.M. Approaching the building on foot, he contacted the witness who told him Hazel Reynolds had been beaten and that Terry Reynolds, brandishing a pistol, had threatened to kill his family. Their children, 3 years and 5 weeks of age were in the apartment with Reynolds. Hazel Reynolds could be heard pleading with her husband.
Knowing that his backup was some minutes away, Dodge, placing the welfare of the woman and children ahead of his own, decided to contact the suspect and attempt to reason with him. Reynolds responded at the apartment door, holding his wife in front of him with an unseen .38 caliber revolver at her back. For several minutes the men conversed while Dodge tried to ascertain if everyone was all right, all the while stalling for time. Suddenly, Reynolds raised the gun and fired a single round striking Dodge in the face.
Terry Reynolds fled the building with several weapons while Hazel called 911 reporting the shooting. Backup units arrived about 5:45 A.M. Reynolds was arrested without incident after disposing of the weapons in a nearby creek. Medical units were unable to revive Deputy Dodge.
Terry Reynolds was charged with first-degree murder and using a weapon to commit a felony. He was subsequently convicted and is serving a life term.
Craig Dodge is survived by sons Allen and David Dodge, stepsons Nick and Joe Krohn, his wife Barbara Dodge, parents Hale and Ethel Dodge, brother Mike Dodge, and sisters Arden Mohrman and Erin Dennis.
Following this tragedy, Barbara became actively involved with Concerns Of Police Survivors, Inc. (COPS), a national organization dedicated to helping police survivors cope, heal, and begin to rebuild their lives. She is a past National President of COPS and was invited to speak at the dedication of the National Law Enforcement Officer's Memorial in Washington, D.C. Each year during National Police Week in Washington D.C., Barbara conducts the seminar "From Victim To Survivor" for new police survivor families. In addition, she is a member of the Nebraska Law Enforcement Memorial Committee which pursues fundraising and the establishment of a site for the proposed Nebraska State Memorial.