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Capt. David Dorn hailed as role model, dedicated public servant

"He was a police officer and whether he was on duty or off duty it was his job to protect people"
Credit: Wiley Price / St. Louis America
St. Rep. Shamed Dogan Dist. 98 shows one of the Street signs that will be displayed in Capt. David Dorn honor on a section of Dr. Martin Luther King Dr.

ST. LOUIS — A protector. A fine man. A great partner.

These words and more were used in tribute to the late retired St. Louis Metropolitan Police Capt. David Dorn, who was slain by gun fire during a pawn shop burglary early on June 2, 2020.

Dorn, who was 77, worked security for the business. He left home to protect it in response to an alarm as rioting and looting broke out in the city following the murder of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer.

“He was a protector,” said interim Public Safety Director Dan Isom at an Ethical Society of Police (ESOP) memorial service for Dorn in Forest Park on Wednesday.

“He was a police officer and whether he was on duty or off duty it was his job to protect people.”

Capt. Dorn had served under Isom when Isom was SLMPD chief of police.

Police Chief John Hayden said Capt. Dorn was “an officer younger African American officers looked up to and emulated.”

“He distinguished himself with his keen investigation skills and bravery. (While he had retired) he remained a police officer at heart.”

Ed Ron Jablonski, Dorn’s longtime partner, said “David was the best partner you could ever have.”

Respective portions of Martin Luther King Drive and I-70 will be named after Capt. Dorn, state Rep. Shamed Dogan announced at the memorial service.

“He is getting two highways named after him. That does not happen often,” Dogan said.

“I am encouraged that his legacy is going to live forever.”

Sgt. Heather Taylor, Isom’s senior advisor, former city officer and ESOP president, said young officers “mirrored” Dorn, and that “he preached education and he preached being fair.”

“Over the years, Capt. Dorn would stop us and give us little tidbits as young officers. I appreciated everything he stood for. There aren’t many like him.

State Sen. Steve Roberts said, “we all owe a great doubt to Capt. Dorn.”

“(He) stood up for what is right when all seemed to be going wrong.”

Stephan Cannon, 24, of St. Louis was charged with first-degree murder, first-degree robbery, first-degree burglary, three counts of armed criminal action and one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm in connection with Dorn’s murder.

Jimmie Robinson of Florissant was charged with first-degree burglary, one count of armed criminal action and one count of stealing, police said.

A lifelong city resident, Dorn also served as Moline Acres chief of police after retiring from the SLMPD and was an ESOP member throughout his law enforcement career.