Lt. Gary E. Dudley of the Indiana State Police, was killed in the line-of-duty in a traffic crash in Vermillion County, on Indiana State Road 63 two miles south of I-74 on Tuesday, August 22, 2006. The crash occurred as Gary was riding his bicycle in a fundraising event he organized for the Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors (COPS) which is part of a national organization dedicated to assisting surviving family members of police officers killed in the line-of-duty. Gary is survived by his wife of 15 years, Carolyn Dudley; his father, Orsel Dudley and brother, Dan Dudley. Gary's mother, Betty (Gumfory) Dudley, preceded him in death. Gary was born in Indianapolis, IN on April 7, 1955. He grew up in Indianapolis and graduated from Broad Ripple High School. Gary earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice from Indiana University. On December 14, 1979 Gary was appointed as a trooper of the Indiana State Police after graduating from the state police academy. He began his state police career at the Lowell Post and transferred to the Indianapolis Post in the latter 1980's. Gary was promoted to Sergeant in 1991 and served as a training officer in the Training Division. He was promoted to First Sergeant in 1999 and in 2005 was promoted to Lieutenant. During his state police career Gary was awarded two Indiana State Police Life Saving Awards; the first was in 1989 for assistance rendered to a critically injured crash victim and the second in 1992 for saving the life of a person who was choking. Gary was the Commander of the Indiana State Police Recruit Academy. As commander of the academy his primary duties were to plan all aspects of a new police officer's training, to include the scheduling of courses, instructors and coordination of all logistical aspects of the training. Over Gary's 26 year career with the state police 13 years involved the training of new police officers. Gary was personally involved in the training of 742 new state police officers since 1993; this equals over 65% of the existing state police force. His demand for professionalism, accountability and personal responsibility was tempered with his remarkable compassion for others. Gary's imprint on the Indiana State Police will be felt for decades to come and is but one of his many personal and professional legacies. Gary had four passions in life; his wife, Carolyn, bicycling, the Indiana State Police and the Indiana Chapter of COPS. Gary was known for his compassion for mankind and his selfless efforts to serve others, not only as a law enforcement officer but also as a husband, a teacher and a friend. Though Gary had no children of his own, his dogs, Daisey and Lady, were the next best thing. Gary was always a welcomed favorite of the children of family and friends with his trademark elephant sounds and Donald Duck impression. Gary was a member of the Indiana State Police Alliance and the Indiana Troopers Association. He belonged to Cornerstone Christian Church, in Brownsburg, Indiana. As a church member Gary was a regular Food Pantry volunteer and assisted with many other church activities. Gary's compassion extended past his law enforcement roots as he also volunteered with the Hendricks County Honor Guard, whose charge is to perform graveside funeral Honor Guard services for veterans. In 2003 Gary arranged for his father to receive his long overdue Lake Orion Community High School (Lake Orion, Michigan) diploma and participate in the graduation ceremonies as duty in WWII interrupted Orsel's senior year. Gary's sudden and unexpected passing has left a huge and unimaginable void in the lives of family and friends. Although the tremendous sadness felt by the ones who loved him and called him a friend seems insurmountable at this time, hopefully it will be sooner than later we will all once again be able to laugh, smile and recount those moments spent with him that will forever live in our memories and lighten our hearts. The public is invited to pay their respects for Lt. Gary Dudley from 2:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Monday, August 28th at the Connection Pointe Christian Church, 1800 N. Green Street, Brownsburg, Indiana. A public funeral service will be at the same location, starting at 11:00 a.m. on Tuesday, August 29th. A graveside service will be held at Indianapolis' Crown Hill Cemetery following the funeral. In lieu of flowers the family has requested donations be made to the cause for which Gary gave his life: The Indiana Chapter of Concerns of Police Survivors, P.O. Box 556, Shelbyville, IN 46176. Please make checks payable to "Indiana COPS." Final arrangements were handled by Matthews Mortuary of Brownsburg and the Indiana Fraternal Order of Police Critical Incident Memorial Team.
Published in The Indianapolis Star on Aug. 25, 2006.