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American Legion Police Officer/Firefighter Awards

American Legion Post 26 awards Davenport police officer and firefighter of the year awards
Posted on 09/16/2020
American Legion Sign - Welcome Police and Fire

Sept. 16, 2020 - On Monday, September 15, 2020, American Legion Post 26 honored Davenport Police Lt. Greg Behning and Davenport Fire Capt. Todd Whitchelo as their police officer and firefighter of the year.


Whitchelo, who has been a Davenport firefighter for nearly 30 years, was recognized for his work maintaining and acquiring personal protective equipment during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as providing first aid to a climber who was seriously injured in a 30-foot fall.

Whitchelo, DFD’s EMS officer, has maintained the supply of appropriate personal protective equipment for the department, acquiring masks, eye protection and gowns which fell to short supply at times early in the pandemic. With DFD’s medical director, Whitchelo established needed changes to safety protocols for first responders during the pandemic. He assisted Davenport Police Department and City Administration in obtaining the proper equipment for all essential workers. Whitchelo also serves as the liaison for the Scott County Fire Departments to the Scott County Emergency Management Agency as part of its COVID-19 response. 

As part of his recognition, Whitchelo who noted for assisting the climber. He was walking with his wife at a local state park came across a man who had fallen about 30 feet off a rock cliff and suffered serious injuries. Whitchelo and his wife administered first aid and notified medical crews of the situation. Due to his condition and location a helicopter was called to airlift the man. Whitchelo assisted medical crews and rode in the ambulance to a farm field where they met the helicopter for transport.


Behning, a 25-year veteran of the Davenport Police Department, was recognized for his gallantry and bravery, while at risk of his own life, that allowed him and two fellow officers to safely exit a violent attack, and ultimately saved the lives of his fellow officers during the unrest of May 31.

On Sunday, May 31, 2020 at 10:55 PM, the Davenport Police Department activated a department wide callout for all available police personnel to respond to the station equipped with helmet and riot gear. Davenport Police in coordination with City Officials also requested that residents “shelter in place” and to stay in their homes due to citywide civil unrest.

These emergency directives were issued due to violence citywide with more than 100 vehicles occupied by rioters roaming throughout the city involved in shots fired incidents, rioting and looting of businesses. Over the next four hours, there were four shooting victims with two fatalities and one officer shot in an ambush. During this same time, officers responded to 45 serious disturbances calls and numerous businesses being looted. These businesses included pawnshops, jewelry stores, department stores at a mall, and convenience stores.

At approximately 2:55 AM, officers observed three suspicious vehicles traveling together through a neighborhood. During mobile surveillance, the three vehicles spilt up with one of the vehicles going down an alley eastbound in the area of 14th and Myrtle St.

Officers followed one of the vehicles eastbound in an alley when suddenly; the officers began taking simultaneous gunfire from the east (in front) and from the north (left of driver side door). During the ambush, a fellow officer was shot twice. While the truck was taking hostile gunfire, Lt. Behning kept his composure and directed the wounded officer to drive the truck through and out of the ambush zone to safety.

As the wounded officer was driving, Lt. Behning could not see the attackers in the dark of night. He returned gunfire through the back window towards the gunshot flashes that he saw. Lt. Behning heroically returned fire while being shot at from multiple sides and being covered in glass from rounds breaking the windshield and both front passenger windows. Lt. Behning’s actions allowed other responding officers to pursue a suspect vehicle and successfully apprehend six suspects, seven firearms, in addition to ammunition and magazines from inside the vehicle.

Behning’s conduct, actions, and professionalism in a very dangerous and stressful situation are a credit to his commitment to the Davenport Police Department and the citizens of Davenport. 

dfd wardceremony DFD personel with awardeeDFD awardDPD personel with awardee