By: Jenn Schanz
Those who knew Deputy Craig Dodge say he was humble, casual, and dedicated to his duty.
"He saw himself more as a peace officer than as the tough guy with a badge and a gun," says his wife, Barbara.
In 1987 while responding to a domestic disturbance at an apartment building in Hickman, Dodge was shot and killed.
This year marks the 26th anniversary of his murder.
Friends, family, and law enforcement officers returned to the place of Dodge's death, to celebrate his life.
Craig Dodge Memorial Park is on the land where the apartments used to be. Now, it's a reminder of the bravery and dedication of Lancaster County Sheriffs Deputies.
"It is through him and his courageous deeds and ultimate sacrifice and service to our community that we have all gathered here," says Mayor of Hickman, Jim Hrouda.
The timing of the park dedication aligns with National Police Week, and is just days from Peace Officer's Memorial Day, on Wednesday.
Public Safety Director Tom Casady worked with Dodge, and was there the night he died. Like Barbara, the Craig Dodge he knew wouldn't expect such recognition.
"I imagine Craig would look at it and just I was only doing my job," he says.
The entrance of the park is marked by a sculpted brick statue of Deputy Dodge, with a memorial plaque on the back.
Dodge's wife Barbara says transforming a place of tragedy to a place of peace is a refection of who her husband was.
"And I pray that by learning what Craig believed and Craig did, that we can all be better people. not because he died, but because he lived."