The honors keep coming for Dixon High School resource officer Mark Dallas.
Dallas, a longtime Dixon police officer who stopped a high school shooting May 16, was presented Hero of the Year and Law Enforcement Officer of the Year awards Tuesday by the Lee County Voiture 409.
The Voiture 409 is the local branch of La Societe des Quarante Hommes et Huit Chevaux, commonly known as the 40&8 charitable honor society of veterans.
“It’s an honor, and I really appreciate it,” Dallas said. “The community has been extremely supportive, and our city is a very good place to live, with such a caring community.”
The awards were presented to Dallas by Richard Longfellow, chef de gare of the Voiture 409, and Dwight Moss, chef de gare of the Grand du Illinois, the state branch of the 40&8.
“It’s well deserved, and it is an honor to honor him,” Longfellow said.
Longfellow also has worked the past couple of weeks on filling two three-ring binders full of articles, photos, letters of support and other materials nominating Dallas for the awards at the state level.
He should know by next month whether Dallas receives the state awards, and the nominations then would go to the national level 40&8.
Longfellow commended Dallas for his actions as not only a police officer but also as a resource for students and helping with their training for critical incidents.
“He fulfilled both jobs outstandingly,” Longfellow said.
About the shooting
On the morning of May 16, 19-year-old senior Matthew A. Milby Jr. opened fire in a school hallway with a 9 mm semi-automatic rifle near a gym filled with about 180 of his classmates practicing for graduation.
Milby fired at gym teacher Andrew McKay, then took off running when confronted by Dallas, who chased him outside. Milby shot at Dallas, and Dallas returned fire, striking him in the shoulder and the hip. No one else was injured.
Milby is being held on $2 million bail and pleaded not guilty to three felonies, including aggravated discharge of a firearm.
Two, which involve shots fired at a person, are punishable by a mandatory 10 to 46 years in prison, and the third, which involves firing shots at a school, by six to 30 years.