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Temple Bowley receives Citizens Certificate of Merit from Dallas Police Department

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Story by Shawn Williams and Photos by Grant Meeks

Dallas Police Chief David Brown and Temple F. Foley Dallas Police Chief David Brown awards Mr. Temple F. Bowley the Citizens Certificat of Merit for actions he took on November 22, 1963 with a photo of Officer J.D. Tippit in the background

The events that occurred at 10th and Patton on November 22, 1963 have become somewhat of a historical footnote.  On the day that America lost its President, the Dallas Police Department lost one of their own, Officer J.D. Tippit.  Not long after J.D. Tippit was struck by four bullets fired from the gun of Lee Harvey Oswald, Bowley arrived on the scene and made a call a from Officer Tippit’s radio.

“Hello police operator,” says a Mr. Bowley, “hello, there’s been a shooting out here.”  The chaos of the scene can be heard in the background.

“Where’s is it at?” asks the police operator.” Mr. Bowley responds, “Tenth Street….between Marsalis and Beckley, it’s a police officer, somebody shot him.”

Listen to Mr. Bowley’s call on DPD Channel 1 at in the What Happened section item #22.

Forty-seven years later Mr. Bowley was recognized for his actions.  On Monday, Dallas Police Chief David Brown presented Mr. Bowley with a Citizen’s Certificate of Merit in the Chief’s Conference room. He was visibly shy about the attention he received, but there’s no doubt that the honor was well deserved.

Senior Cpl. Rick Janich is part of headquarters security and he also works with many of the departments historical artifacts. He noted that in addition to the radio call Mr. Bowley also secured Officer Tippit’s service revolver.  A picture of Tippit’s revolver, badge and I.D. are part of a DPD poster of significant memorabilia.

Janich is also an unofficial liaison between the department and Officer Tippit’s widow Marie Tippit.  Mrs. Tippit was also on hand for the ceremony.  She and Mr. Bowley had never met prior to Monday.  Janich said that Mrs. Tippit appreciated the opportunity to thank Bowley for his quick response after her husband was shot.

(L to R) Former FBI agent Farris Rookstool, Chief David Brown and Temple F. Bowley

Farris Rookstool worked with the department to highlight Mr. Bowley’s a truly significant way. Mr. Rookstool is a former FBI Analyst and was one of the bureau’s experts on the Kennedy Assassination. The process of the Bowley’s Certificate of Merit started under Chief David Kunckle.

“It’s part of [national] history and a key moment in Dallas history,” said Rookstool. He also added that there are others who should be recognized in a similar manor and he plans to work with the department to identify those individuals as well.

But as the ceremony concluded, the talk in the room turned in one direction: a permanent marker at 10th and Patton to honor the sacrifice Officer J.D. Tippit made that day (Also see Dallas Morning News’ Roy Appleton Move Grows for Memorial to Dallas officer….). Rookstool, Janich, Mrs. Tippit and Mr. Bowley himself all acknowledged the need for such a memorial when asked.  It’s a move in the right direction to bring forth the rays of light that shined brightly in one of the city’s darkest hour.

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