Officer Raymond L. Hawkins was shot on December 23, 1971, during an armed robbery of a convenience store in Prince Georges County, Maryland. The incident occurred two days before Christmas when he was off-duty.
When Officer Hawkins entered the convenience store he observed a robbery in progress. He sprang into action subduing the robbery suspect; who appeared to be acting alone. When Officer Hawkins began to search the robbery suspect the suspect’s accomplice approached Officer Hawkins from behind and shot him in the head. Officer Hawkins was unconscious when he was transported to Cafritz Hospital (Now: United Medical Center- Located north of the intersection of Wheeler Rd. and Southern Ave. SE) in Washington, DC. Officer Hawkins remained unconscious until February 15, 1972, when he died from the head wound he received during the robbery.
Three men were arrested in Prince Georges County on March 10, 1972, for the murder of Officer Hawkins. Subsequently, Charles K. Hopkins, 21, of Suitland, MD was convicted of the murder of Officer Hawkins and the robbery of the 7-11.
Officer Hawkins was determined to become a police officer. When he returned from the Vietnam War, he worked hard to recover from serious wounds he received during his service, so that he could pass the United States Park Police initial medical examination. He was 28 years old and was a three-year veteran of the Force.
On October 26, 1973, the Force established the Raymond L. Hawkins Award for Excellence in Police Training. This award is presented to the top graduate in every United States Park Police recruit class. In his honor, a plaque was placed on permanent display in United States Park Police Headquarters, inscribed with his words: “I have always been interested in becoming a member of the public services….and contribute to the health, safety and well being of my fellow man.”
We honor his service and commitment to duty.