HOOSIERS WE’VE LOST: He survived being a police officer for 30 years, but didn’t survive COVID-19


Editor’s note: This is one of a continuing online series of profiles of the more than 12,000 Hoosiers who have died from COVID-19. The stories are from 12 Indiana newspapers, including The Tribune, who collaborated to create the collection to highlight the tremendous loss that the pandemic has created. The series appears daily at tribtown.com.

Name: Dale Bock

City/Town: Koontz Lake

Age: 69

Died: May 1

Dale Bock survived 30 years as a cop in Lake County — one of Indiana’s highest-crime areas.

But in March 2020, a “terrible roller coaster ride,” courtesy of COVID-19, killed the retired police veteran.

His brother, Tom Bock, watched the toll the virus took on his otherwise healthy sibling.

The struggle went on for several weeks in a Lafayette hospital.

“One day we would go up and think everything is improving. The next two or three days we would fall back again worse than where we started,” Tom Bock said of Dale’s coronavirus battle.

“I wouldn’t wish that ride on anybody.”

In the end, Dale lost his fight.

The big brother who had interested Tom in becoming a police officer was gone.

Today, Tom remembers working at the Region steel mills in the early 1980s but spending patrol shifts riding with Dale, then a police K-9 handler. It was during those ride-alongs that Tom decided to become a cop — learning from one of the most respected officers to serve the sheriff’s department.

The sickness that started out like a cold showed itself to be anything but a cold or the flu, Tom Bock said.

Dale Bock served the Lake County Sheriff’s Department for three decades and was a lieutenant, K-9 trainer and handler and SWAT team sniper before retiring in 2005. He also worked with the North Liberty Police Department for 10 years.

“He worked out in Gary and he has been in shootouts and all kinds of dangerous situations — and each time he walked away,” Dale’s son Scott Bock recalled. “And it’s this virus that takes him out.”

— Contributed by The Times of Northwest Indiana

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