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Officer John Hetland died as a hero. This week, the Racine County Eye remembers and honors this individual because of Hetland’s sacrifices two years ago. Hetland served as a Police Officer for the Racine Police Department. In addition, he spent 24 years dedicated to the city of Racine.

On June 17, 2019, Hetland was shot to death by Dalquavis Ward. During an armed robbery at Teezers Bar,1936 Lathrop Avenue, Hetland gave the ultimate sacrifice. Protecting the bartender from Ward, the armed gunman, resulted in a tragedy. While off duty, Hetland’s actions testify to what it means to be a hero.

Remembering Hetland

He died protecting the city he worked for and loved. The city of Racine, fellow brothers and sisters in blue, his family and friends will always mourn his death. The Racine County Eye, however, wants to reflect on the legacy he created.

John Hetland Tribute Video

Hetland’s Legacy Continues

While Hetland is gone, his legacy in Racine continues. Hetland’s loved ones have shared messages and memories of him to keep his spirit alive. Additionally, since his death, a Facebook page was created to continue sharing his story. The Our Hero – Paying It Forward for John Hetland page hopes to continue spreading kindness as Hetland did.

On the page, today they write, in remembrance, “your name’s not the last that’s been etched into stone, valor’s not dying, it continues to grow. Nothing you did was done in vain, your legacy lives on as we mention your name.”

Local News

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Nominate the next hero to be the Racine County Eye Hometown Hero of the Week by emailing Emma Widmar at

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