Retired professor remembers Trooper Dowell and talks about dangers of the job

Local News

Trooper Lucas Dowell was the 66th state trooper death in Virginia State Police history.

Tod Burke, a former police officer and retired professor, taught Dowell while he was a student at Raford University.

Burke remembers Dowell as an exceptional student-always showing up to class, eager to learn, and having a desire tto make a difference in the communty.  

“Students sometimes skip out on classes. He was not one of them,” says Burke. “He was a dedicated student.”

Burke says that though law enforcement is a dangerous job, there are things the public can do to help.

“There is no such thing as a routine call. You’ll hear people say this was a routine traffic stop. Or this was a routine search warrant. If it was routine, why are we hear talking about it?” says Burke.

He advises people to keep officer safety in mind. “When a traffic stop is being made, don’t jump out of the car. Don’t be reaching for anything. Even though you may not have any attention of harming the officer, the officer doesn’t know that,” says Burke.

Dowell is the first state trooper to die in the line of duty in 2019. 

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