Former Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon dies

Published: Dec. 25, 2021 at 12:31 PM CST
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Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - Former Lake Charles Police Chief Don Dixon has died at age 70, according to local officials who served with him.

Dixon was found dead this morning.

“It’s not just a hard hit on Christmas - it’s a hard hit to the community,” his long time partner, Mark Kraus said. “Today the world is a little less safe because Don Dixon is not on it.”

Dixon served for 17 years as head of the Lake Charles Police Department before retiring in 2019 alongside his Deputy Chief Mark Kraus. Longtime partners who made a forever impact in each other’s lives.

“When we retired, he called me about a year and a half later and said ‘I’m back in it. You got a unit?’ Kraus said. “He said ‘come get me. We’re gonna go look at this Joe Constance case.’ So I was back in big stuff? And he said ‘yeah.’ So a lot of times, we would sit in the front seat of that police car and that’s really when I got to know the man.

A servant’s heart with a burning passion to protect, Dixon meant so much to so many.

“I was notified about this this morning,” Kraus said. “I raced over to his house with a bunch of other police officers and gave him the due respect that he needed, kissed him on his forehead and told him we would take it from here. We’re gonna be ok, gave him a police salute on the way out. It’s just going to be a tough adjustment to make.”

Described as a force to be reckoned with, without even having to say a word. He was a pillar of the police force.

“Honorable, admirable, kind - and a lot of people couldn’t see that because of the position that he was in and sometimes he had to take hard lines,” Kraus said. “Ethically brave is something I think about anytime I think about Don Dixon because he taught his police officers to be ethically brave.”

Dixon was a law enforcement lifer, spending 30 years in the FBI before 17 as chief of the Lake Charles Police Department. His career began with humble beginnings in Tampa’s FBI field office in the early 1970′s. Dixon worked his way through the ranks, eventually being deployed to Waco, Texas during the 51-day standoff with David Koresh of the Branch Davidians in 1993. In 1998, he was sent to Kenya to assist in the investigation of the American Embassy bombing by Al-Qaeda. However, all of this dimmed in comparison to the protection of those under his own roof, his family.

“He was not without fault, one of his faults was he loved his family to an nth degree that nobody could imagine,” Kraus said.

Though Dixon was retired, he was still practicing his law enforcement expertise, serving as a special investigator on the case of Joe Constance - a man who has been on the run for 10 years after allegedly killing Mary Jeanette Duhon in 2011. KPLC had recently interviewed Dixon about the case and planned to air the segment next week.

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