CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Champaign Police gave the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart Awards to the family of Officer Christopher Oberheim and Officer Jeffrey Creel during the 2021 Champaign Police Memorial Ceremony.
It was held at West Side Park on University Avenue Friday morning to honor law enforcement officers around the world who have died in the line of duty. At this ceremony, police officers and community members paid a special tribute to Champaign Police Officers Thomas Dodsworth (end of watch July 6, 1913), Robert Tatman (end of watch November 25, 1967) and Christopher Oberheim (end of watch May 19, 2021).
Nearly 100 people attended this ceremony, including police officers, their family members and the public.
“It’s encouraging to see the significant amount of community members come out and support us. I know this community supports its police department. I never doubted that, but it’s very encouraging to see that they’re here, and it’s appreciated by the police department,” said Champaign Police Chief Matthew Henson.
As part of this year’s ceremony, the Champaign Police Department presented the Medal of Valor and Purple Heart Awards to the family of Officer Christopher Oberheim and Officer Jeffrey Creel for their distinguished service with exceptional courage, regardless of personal safety, in an attempt to protect and save human life on May 19.
Officer Creel and Officer Oberheim responded to a call about a domestic disturbance during the early morning hours of May 19. Police said both officers were hit by gunfire during this incident. Officer Oberheim died from his gunshot injuries.
In 1967, according to police, Officer Tatman was shot during a traffic stop near Church Street.
A police investigation reveals that in 1913, Officer Dodsworth went to a home on North Market Street to arrest two suspects. These two resisted the arrest, and Dodsworth was killed.
Below are some photos from the 2021 Champaign Police Memorial Ceremony