Willis Wood “Johnny” Sides

Officer Johnny Sides was shot and killed after he and his partner stopped a vehicle for running a red light. As they approached the vehicle, the four men opened fire on them, killed Officer Sides and wounding his partner. The suspects were arrested two days later in Arkansas. They were wanted for the 1950 shooting of Mississippi Department of Public Safety Officer E. J. Grisham. Two of the suspects were executed and two were sentenced to life.

Officer Sides had been with the Dallas Police Department for three months and was survived by his parents, brother, and two sisters.

Although an officer for too brief a time, Officer Sides has inspired countless police officers and citizens with his dedication, leadership, caring and sacrifice.  It is in his memory that The Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Dallas Junior Chamber of Commerce Foundation has recognized the Dallas Police Department’s Rookie of the Year since 1952, with the Johnny Sides Rookie of the Year award.