The Dallas County Sheriff’s office is mourning the loss of a longtime team member, Transport Officer Dwight Stearns of Earlham, who died Thursday from complications of COVID-19.
“Dwight was a great husband, father, grandfather, employee and friend to many,” the sheriff’s office said on its Facebook page. “He always had an inviting smile and a warm heart that he shared with everyone he met.”
Stearns was the Dallas County Sheriff’s first full-time transport officer, and he built the transport division into what it is today, personally training every person in the transport division. He was also responsible for countless firearms certifications for peace officers all over Iowa and the Midwest.
“Dwight was an avid firearms competitor and well known throughout the state of Iowa as a world-class shooter,” the sheriff’s office said. “He loved to share stories and videos of others that he had coached or mentored.”
Stearns began his public service in 1975 by joining the U.S. Army, where he rose to the rank of sergeant. He started working for the Earlham Police Department in 1980 and retired after 31 years as their chief of police. He led the Dallas County Sheriff’s transport division for nearly 10 years.
“There isn’t a county jail or state prison that Dwight hasn’t been to,” the sheriff’s office said. “He had friends in every single part of the state of Iowa. R.I.P. Dwight, and thank you for your lifetime of service.”