Fallen Officer Remembered For His Love, Compassion, Selflessness

By: Rachel Cox Email
By: Rachel Cox Email
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KILLEEN (May 17, 2014) Killeen police Detective Charles “Chuck” Dinwiddie, 47, was remembered Saturday for his compassion, his love and his commitment to serve.

Dinwiddie died Sunday, two days after he and Officer Odis Denton, 37, were shot while serving a search warrant.

Dinwiddie “changed our lives for the better,” Killeen Police Chief Dennis Baldwin said Saturday.

“We honor his service and the ultimate sacrifice he made for his community,” Baldwin said.

Dinwiddie’s sister, Ellen Smith, spoke for the family, telling mourners than in an ideal world, words of love and admiration would be spoken in life, rather than after death.

But, she said, it’s not an ideal world.

“Chuck first and foremost lived his life in service of others,” she said.

“The world is a better place because of my brother,” she said.

“Let’s all thank God for his life and celebrate his legacy of selflessness and love."

Dinwiddie’s former SWAT supervisor, Patrick Turck, shared not only his own memories of the fallen detective, but also those of the officers with whom Dinwiddie worked.

“He was a great man and I’m going to miss him. Everyone who knew Chuck is going to miss him,” Turck said.

When a member leaves the Killeen SWAT Team honorably, Turck said, it’s the team’s tradition to read a passage from William Shakespeare’s “Henry V.”

Saturday morning, colleagues gathered around Dinwiddie’s flag-draped casket as Turck recited the passage from the St. Crispin’s Day speech.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers; For he today that sheds his blood with me shall be my brother."

Dinwiddie, whose father was an Army officer, was born in Frankfurt, Germany, but his family later settled in Harker Heights, where he attended Harker Heights Elementary School, Manor Junior High School, and then graduated from Killeen High School in 1984.

He earned an associate degree in Electronics and Computer Technology from Central Texas College and joined the Killeen Police Department in 1996.

He was married to Holly Dinwiddie for 22 years and they had two children, 10-year-old Colin and 9-year-old Chloe.

He was an 18-year veteran of the Killeen Police Department and a 15-year veteran of the department’s SWAT Team, whose members offered a silent salute in one of the most moving moments of the service.

One-by-one, the officers removed their SWAT pins, which they placed on a plaque that an officer held, punching the pins in and then slowly saluting.

Officer Odis Denton, who’s still in a wheelchair as he recovers from the serious injury he suffered when he was shot in the leg, struggled to stand, removed his pin, punched it in and then saluted.

Dinwiddie and Denton, a nine-year veteran of the Killeen Police Department, were shot as they and other officers served a narcotics search warrant just after 5:30 a.m. May 9 at 1104 Circle M Dr. Apt. 3.

The officers were taken first to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center and then were transferred to Scott & White Hospital in Temple.

Dinwiddie was in critical condition after the shooting and died at 1:30 p.m. last Sunday in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

Denton, who was shot in the femur, underwent surgery and has since returned home.

Two other officers were hit by gunfire, but were spared injury by their protective gear.

It was only the second line-of-duty shooting death in the city in nearly a century.

According to online records, before last summer, the last time a Killeen law enforcement officer was shot to death in the line of duty was on April 6, 1917 when town marshal John T. Blair, 46, was gunned down while trying to stop a shootout between and father and son.

Then in July 2013 Killeen Officer Robert “Bobby” Layden Hornsby, 32, died in a shooting at a Killeen apartment complex that left Officer Juan E. Obregon, Jr., seriously injured.

Fort Hood Pfc. Dustin Billy Cole, 24, of Talihina, Okla. opened fire with an AK47 on the two officers who responded to a late-night disturbance on July 13, 2013 at the Grandon Manor Apartments at 1611 Grandon Dr. in Killeen where callers reported a man with a weapon had threatened people at the pool.

The two wounded officers were taken to Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center in critical condition and Hornsby died early the next morning.

Hornsby was a four-year veteran of the Killeen Police Department and a member of the department’s SWAT Team who left a wife, a 4-year-old-daughter and a 1-year-old son behind.

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