National organization recognizes Dixon school resource officer

DIXON, III (KWQC) -- A Dixon school resource officer credited with saving lives during a school shooting received national honors Thursday morning.

Community members, friends, and family of Officer Mark Dallas gathered inside Dixon City Hall as he received the National Officer of the Year award.

“Definitely a great honor, it's like one of the cherries on top for a career,” said Officer Mark Dallas.

The plaque that's provided by the American Police Hall of Fame is the highest award given to brave men and women, who put themselves in harm’s way to protect their communities. Officer Dallas was among one of the many officers that was nominated across the country.

“There's something special about officers, first responders, they are committed. Even in the face of danger and that's one thing that makes Officer Dallas special was his commitment under fire, his courage,” said Chief Jack Rinchich, President National Association of Chiefs of Police/American Police Hall of Fame.

Last year, Officer Dallas stopped accused shooter Matthew Milby. Who police say opened fire during a graduation ceremony practice. Dallas' quick actions prevented other students from being hurt.

“I was terrified, I was going to have a child that was hurt and I don't want to say, child. They are young adults, my own son was in that gymnasium,” said Officer Dallas.

The father of two says life has changed for him since the incident.

“You just think about what you do for your job and then you get recognized for doing your job. It baffles me sometimes, I always say I was just doing my job that day. That’s what I was paid to do,” said Officer Dallas.

As students at Dixon High School return to school this Monday. Officer Dallas will also be starting a new journey as he leaves the position of the school resource officer. Officer Chris Scott will take over for Dallas. He’s an 11-year veteran of law enforcement who joined Dixon police in 2017.

“Mark leaves some very big shoes to fill. He did his job very well and hero, I think is the perfect term for him,” said Officer Chris Scott, New Dixon High School Resource Officer.

A hero that has made a difference in his community.