The history of Dodge City suggests a lawless, wild community where some did as they wanted to.

Yet, it wasn’t — and isn’t — as lawless as people might imagine.

The Dodge City Police Department honored the four DCPD officers who were killed while on duty during a ceremony held at the police station on Monday morning.

"One might think, with the wild history of Dodge City, there would be more than four," said Drew Francis, DCPD chief. "Thank God it isn’t."

In 1962, John F. Kennedy signed into law Peace Officers Memorial Day. The law set aside May 15 as a day to remember all those police officers who died on duty. The day of honor is held during National Police Week each year.

The four officers who lost their lives while working in Dodge City include Ed Masterson, Thomas C. Nixon, Chief J.E. Cox and LeRoy Davis.

City Marshal Masterson was killed on April 9, 1878. Masterson arrested a cowboy, who was intoxicated, taking a firearm from the cowboy. According to reports, the cowboy pulled a second, concealed weapon and fired upon the city marshal. Masterson was able to return fire — killing the cowboy — before he died. Masterson was 25.

Assistant Marshal Nixon was killed while on foot patrol on July 21, 1884. Nixon was reportedly killed by a former assistant marshal who had been in a long-standing feud with Nixon. The assistant marshal was 46.

Dodge City Police Department Chief J.E. Cox was killed on Nov. 5, 1927 while investigating the theft of some chickens. The chief, who had 18 years of service to DCPD, was 52.

Officer Davis, who had just started with the police department a few weeks prior, died on May 18, 1929 while investigating the theft of several vehicles in the downtown area. Davis was 35.

"Last year there were 145 officers killed while on duty," Francis told the crowd gathered at the police department. "We want to thank everyone who stands with us on the thin blue line and for coming out today to honor these officers."

 

To contact this writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.